UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022
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My father died in 2004. He was in the hospital with a serious stomach infection and they could not find out
what it was or what caused it. They ruled his death natural. I found out about 2 years ago that my mom and
brother poisoned him.hospital refuses to let me have medical records. Can I sue them for wrongful death?
Asked on December 10, 2018 under Malpractice Law, South Carolina
SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney
Answered 4 years ago | Contributor
1) If your mother and brother poisoned him, why would you sue the hospital? They did not poison him, based on what you write. If you have any claim or cause of action, it would be against your mother and brother. Only the person or entity which caused the death would be liable.
2) It may be too late to sue them: as a general matter, you have a three-year "statute of limitations" for wrongful death claims, or up to three years from death to sue. The "discovery rule" does apply: it delays that three-year countdown clock from starting to run until you know or reasonably should have known about the cause of death. So the issue is, should you have known (e.g. by having an autopsy done?) about the poisoning earlier, or was 2 years ago about the earliest you could have found out? If two years ago was the earliest, you may be in time to sue your mother and brother.
3) If you can sue, in the lawsuit, you can use a subpoena to get the records from the hospital.
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