Can a sister file a wrongful death suit if a spouse will not?

UPDATED: Sep 16, 2012

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Can a sister file a wrongful death suit if a spouse will not?

My brother died this year of a heart condition. He went to see his doctor who sent him home with a prescription for acid reflux medication and he later died that day. If she had sent him to the ER he might be alive today. His wife is not going to pursue a malpractice suit. I know spouses have the right to do so but can I, as his sister, file since his wife is not?

Asked on September 16, 2012 under Malpractice Law, Georgia


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Different states in this country have different statutes as to who has standing to sue for the wrongful death of a relative, particularly a sibling in your matter. If your brother was not married, you surely would have had standing to sue for wrongful death as to your loss. Most likely you have standing despite him being married at death. I suggest that you consult with a personal injury attorney in your locality to be sure and to see what is required to bring suit.

Good question.

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