The latest effort to expand the capacity to sue, a bill in New York state, failed when it was not signed by the governor ― but a toned-down bill is in the works…medscape.com, Who Can Sue Docs for Wrongful Death? Some States Are Trying to Expand That Group, Amanda Loudin, March 2023
Currently, every state allows a wrongful death claim to be filed by immediate family members. If the patient who died was married, a surviving spouse could bring the lawsuit. If unmarried, an adult child could bring the lawsuit in some states. A parent typically brings a lawsuit if their minor child has died from alleged wrongful death.
The NY legislation would have expanded the definition of “close family members” to include spouses, domestic partners, children, parents, stepparents, siblings, grandparents, and perhaps more. Additionally, lawsuits could have allowed juries to determine “close family members” of the deceased patient on the basis of specific circumstances of the person’s relationship with the decedent.