When a nursing home employee’s negligent, reckless, or intentional actions result in the death of a resident, the family of the deceased resident may want to seek justice on behalf of their loved one. This is done through a Maryland wrongful death lawsuit.
Wrongful death lawsuits are similar to traditional negligence lawsuits, but require proof of one additional element: the relationship between the parties. In Maryland, only certain parties can bring a wrongful death case against a negligent or abusive nursing home employee. These are call “primary beneficiaries” and include the “wife, husband, parent, and child of the deceased person.”
However, sometimes there will be no primary beneficiary available to bring the lawsuit. In such cases, the law allows for a secondary beneficiary to proceed with the case. A secondary beneficiary is “any person related to the deceased person by blood or marriage who was substantially dependent upon the deceased.” Of course, this is more difficult to prove than a simple blood relation, because it requires establishing substantial dependence. In some states, if no primary beneficiary exists, then the case will be brought by the deceased’s estate.