A Wrongful Death Action Brought by Non-Estate Representative is a Nullity
Ex parte Bio-Medical Applications of Alabama, Inc.: When someone other than the personal representative of an estate brings a wrongful death action, the suit is a nullity that cannot be remedied.
In July 2016, the Supreme Court of Alabama decided Ex parte Bio-Medical Applications of Alabama, Inc., d/b/a BMA Magnolia a/k/a Fresenius Medical Care Magnolia Grove, [Ms. 1150263-63] — So. 3d — (Ala. 2016), pursuant to separate writs of mandamus from defendants Bio-Medical Applications of Alabama and Providence Hospital seeking to have summary judgment entered in their favor.
In this wrongful death action, suit was brought by decedent’s son Corey Howard, rather than by the estate representative Darrick Howard. The defendants argued that only the estate representative could bring a wrongful death action, and because someone other than the estate representative brought the instant action, summary judgment was due to be granted in the defendants’ favor. The Alabama Supreme Court, having recently decided Ex parte Hubbard Props., Inc., [Ms. 1141196, March 4, 2016] — So. 3d — (Ala. 2016) in which it held that under Ala. Code (1975) § 6-5-410, only the estate representative has the authority to bring a wrongful-death action, ruled in favor of the defendants. Additionally, the Court held herein that because a wrongful death action filed by anyone other than the estate representative is a nullify, the estate representative cannot be substituted as the plaintiff.
For more on recent wrongful death decisions in Alabama, see my post: A Wrongful Death Action Brought by a Former Personal Estate Representative May Be a Nullity.