Often, death due to medical malpractice results in a wrongful death lawsuit.
In this case, a medical doctor was sued for wrongful death and malpractice in the death of a well-known professional golfer. The father of the deceased, on behalf of her estate, filed the complaint. After a year-long investigation into the suicide of the young woman golfer, the father indicated in his lawsuit that he felt the doctor was directly responsible for his daughter’s death because of what he did and did not do; meaning he did things he should not have done and did not do things he should have done.
Evidently, although the woman also played golf with the doctor named as defendant in the lawsuit, she was also a patient of his. He was the last person to see the woman alive, and even though he called 911, he removed all drugs from her premises and also took her suicide note. The woman had been on multiple prescription drugs, including anti-anxiety meds, pain meds, and cough and headache medications. The coroner ruled her death a suicide due to asphyxia and the overload of drugs she had in her system at the time of her death.
The doctor pled guilty to obstruction of justice for taking evidence from the scene and was sentenced to a year’s probation and 40 hours of community service. None of this would bring the young woman back, and the family, hoping that this would never happen to anyone else, chose to file a wrongful death lawsuit on the heels of the man’s criminal conviction.
Wrongful death is not usually about getting even with the person or persons involved in the death. It is usually about the family not wanting anyone else to experience what happened to their loved one. It is about closure and moving forward in the memory of the deceased. It is also about insurance money that will help the family cope financially and be able to get on with their lives. They have sustained a significant loss emotionally and psychologically with the death of their daughter. They need not also suffer a financial loss to compound their devastation.
Robert Webb is an Atlanta personal injury lawyer with Webb & D’Orazio, a law firm specializing in Atlanta personal injury, malpractice, criminal defense, and business law. Learn more at Webbdorazio.com.