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If several lawyers refuse to handle a nursing home neglect case resulting in death can I still sue nursing home

Chicago, IL |

2002 mom passed due to nursing home and doctor failing to diagnosis a stroke in a timely manner spoke with several attorney that refuse to take the case 1 attorney wrote a letter to referring attorney stated if there was a wrongful death case he still would not take it because my mom was 90 years old she was just an old feeble woman with no quality of life before my mom suffered the stroke she was happy very verbal ( joker) this is haunting me daily that the nuring home and doctor was able to walk away without taking some responsibility I have records from nursing home and hosp mom was malnutrition dehyrated and had debucus I know a lot of time has passed is there something legally I can still do this is totally wrong I wouldn"t wish this in anyone

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Attorney answers 3


Unfortunately, it appears that there is nothing you can do through the legal system about your mother's death. The first problem is that the alleged neglect and your mother's resulting death occurred in 2002. Washington has a three year statute of limitations for injury and/or wrongful death claims. The statute of limitations for this claim has expired. The second problem is that, cold and unfeeling as it may seem, elderly people in ill health do not have long life expectancies or much in the way of "quality of life" to lose. That significantly diminishes the damages that might be awarded even if neglect were to be proved. Third, neglect is often difficult and expensive to prove (you need to hire at least one expert to evaluate the situation and testify regarding the standard of care for nursing homes). When you combine that with limited damages due to your mother's age and health, I am not surprised that the lawyer you mention turned down the case. I wish he had done so in a more sympathetic manner that acknowledged the emotional pain that this experience has caused you. I am sorry that I cannot help you, except to suggest that you find a way to let go of the matter and forgive those you believe to be responsible for your mother's death. I suggest forgiveness not for the sake of the others involved, but for YOUR sake. Carrying around this emotional pain can't possibly be good for you.


I am sorry for your loss.

As to your questions, this is not a matter that the courts can solve.
The statute of limitations for a claim of wrongful death has expired.
Too long a time has passed.
Once the statute of limitations runs, there can be no lawsuit.

You might consider talking this through with a trusted advisor like a member of the clergy. For this trauma to still be bothering you eight years later is not healthy for you. Try to find some peace and closure by speaking to a professional that can assist you.

Good luck.


Just because something bad happens, does not, unfortunately, mean that there is a cause of action to rectify it. Also, just because there is a case, doesn't mean an attorney will take it because of other (usually economic) concerns.

It is sad what happened to your mother and I cannot comment one way or another whether she had a valid case or not. But, that said, if several lawyers have looked at it and said "no" that is usually a good sign to let sleeping dogs lie. Experienced lawyers know whether they can win a case or not and whether the expense of it will be worthwhile.

Consider the fact that you did your best and it just didn't work out the way you wanted it to. It happens.

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