Florida’s wrongful death act, a loophole nobody talks about. Gerald Giannillo, 51, an acclaimed massage therapist, checked in at a known hospital for surgery to repair his heart. He was transferred to Tampa General Hospital four days after the surgery where he eventually passed away.
The hospital did not provide a detailed report of what went wrong during the surgery. According to the surgeons, they tried their best to repair his heart but could not make one of his ventricles respond which resulted in his death.
Giannillo was moved to Tampa General Hospital on the suggestion of surgeons at other prestigious facilities.
The incident left Giannillo’s family and his long-time girlfriend, Tracey, devastated. Unable to find answers to their questions, the family got in touch with a lawyer to investigate the matter but the case never proceeded due to a loophole in the law.
What The Law Says
According to the law, neither Tracy not the next of kin of anyone unmarried, without minor children was entitled to proceed with a medical malpractice lawsuit in the state.
Such people have no recourse, according to lawyers as the law appears to be on the side of the other party.
The Freekill Law – A Controversial Exemption
The law provides clear guidelines for who can file a lawsuit against a healthcare provider or medical facility in the case of wrongful death.
However, the most important and controversial part of the law is an exemption that says:-
- The remaining next of kin of anyone above the age of 24 with no minor children or spouse cannot file a suit.
- Anyone above the age of 24 cannot file a lawsuit for the wrongful death of a parent who has no partner.
In simple words, only a minor child (24 or younger) or a spouse can file a wrongful death lawsuit in the state. This provision is critically called the ‘Free Kill’ law.
Human rights firms and legal companies are fighting to get this law changed. But, we’re not sure when the tables will turn. For now, you can file a lawsuit only if you are a minor child or spouse of the victim. Get in touch with us today to know more.
If you need help filing for a wrongful death lawsuit, contact us for help today.