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What is Florida’s “Free Kill” Law?

Imagine how devastated you’d be if a member of your family was killed due to a medical error. Now, imagine that devastation amplified by having no recourse whatsoever to seek justice for your family member’s death.

This scenario isn’t science-fiction, it’s the reality for Floridians. Continue reading to learn more about Florida’s “Free Kill Law.”

The “Free Kill Law”

Section 768.21 of Florida’s Statutues states that only spouses and minor children of a decedent are allowed to pursue damages for pain and suffering in medical malpractice cases.

What that means, is that adult children aged past 25 years may not pursue legal action if their parents are medical malpractice victims. In addition, parents may not sue for adult children older than 25 years who have lost their lives due to medical mistakes.

The only relationships that legally warrant a family member to pursue pain and suffering damages in medical malpractice cases are the following people in relation to the decedent:

  • Spouse
  • Minor child

Without Pain and Suffering Damages, There Is No Case

While you may sue for damages such as funeral costs, most attorneys won’t accept these cases since malpractice suits are too costly to litigate without pain and suffering damages.

What is perhaps most unfortunate about this rule, is that a good number of these cases are special needs adults who are cared for by their parents and die under medical care.

Repealing the Law

When the Florida Wrongful Death Act was passed in the 1990s, many physicians decided to move away from Florida because malpractice insurance costs began to soar. That’s why the “Free Kill” law exists today.

Medical industry lobbyists are concerned that if the “Free Kill” law is repealed, then history will repeat itself, and physicians will once again leave Florida.

We’re Here to Help

If you’ve lost a loved one due to the wrongdoing or negligence of another, our wrongful death attorneys may be able to help. Our team here at Harmon Parker, P.A. has secured justice for many other people just like you. Let us see if we can help you, too. Don’t hesitate to contact us with your case right away.

Call Harmon Parker, P.A. today at (813) 452-4144 to learn more about how we can help you recover over a free consultation.