Washington Appellate Court Applies New Case Law to Bar Wrongful Death Suits if Statute of Limitations Expires on Personal Injury Claim During Decedent’s Lifetime

In 2006, the plaintiff successfully sued two defendants for injuries related to the plaintiff’s workplace asbestos exposure. This judgment was vacated and remanded to federal district court, where it remained pending. The plaintiff passed away in 2012; two years later, his widow filed a wrongful death claim against new defendants.  The defendants moved for summary judgment, arguing that the statute of limitations on a personal injury action during the decedent’s lifetime precludes a wrongful death action based on this underlying personal injury claim. The trial …

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Statute of Limitation in Wrongful Death Action Held to Have Commenced at Time of Decedent’s Diagnosis

The administratrix of the decedent’s estate appealed the lower court’s time-barred dismissal of the wrongful death action she commenced on behalf of the decedent, who was diagnosed with mesothelioma on June 17, 2011 and died on July 9, 2012. The action was commenced on January 9, 2014, which was more than two years after the mesothelioma diagnosis, but less than two years after the decedent’s death.

The court, in its analysis of the subject Pennsylvania statute of limitations, found that the time to file an …

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