What is the Wrongful Death Act?
Minneapolis personal injury lawyer Bill Tilton discusses law enacted to provide for surviving spouses of wrongful death victims.
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The Minnesota Wrongful Death Statute, 572.02, I think it is, provides that if an action of negligence results in a death, then the spouse and the next-of-kin have a legal action. In the State of Minnesota, you’re required to get a trustee, someone to stand in and represent those people, and then they – legal action is brought under the name of the trustee. There’s particular statute limitations issues that apply; for example, you have to bring the lawsuit within three years of the date of death, but if the thing that caused the date of death didn’t result in death right away, you have six years in a typical negligence action or four years in a medical malpractice action. In all circumstances, it’s always the shortest, so in the medical negligence action, if a hospital or a doctor causes a death, you bring the action within three years of the date of death or four years from the date of the negligence act, whichever is sooner.