Statutes of limitations for wrongful death vary from state to state, and while New York state laws allow two years for such claims to be filed, other states could allow less or more time. As with most laws, exceptions exist. On Feb. 15, 2014, Angelo Henderson, an award-winning journalist, died from venous thromboembolism. A wrongful death lawsuit, alleging medical malpractice, was recently filed in another state on behalf of his family. The defendants include the medical facility and the surgeon who was involved in his treatment.
According to court documents, Henderson underwent knee surgery approximately three weeks before his death. The complaint states that a blood clot formed in a vein, and pulmonary embolism occurred when the clot broke free and traveled to his lungs. The claim alleges that the medical staff who treated Henderson ignored multiple risk factors.
The risk factors included the lack of mobility after recent surgery, hypertension, age and obesity. The plaintiff claims that the defendants failed to explain the VTE risks to the patient, nor did they provide VTE prophylaxis, a compression stocking, or other available medical devices to prevent VTE. A jury trial is sought along with damages exceeding $25,000.
Families in New York who believe the deaths of loved ones could have been prevented had they received proper medical care might have questions about their legal rights. The sensible step is to consult with an experienced medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible. A lawyer can assess the circumstances and make sure the claim is filed within the statute of limitations. If such a lawsuit is successful, a monetary judgment for documented losses might be awarded.