As discussed in the previous blog entry, the New York Estates, Powers and Trust Law (EPTL) establishes the statutory procedures that personal representatives, administrators and executors must follow when filing wrongful death lawsuits.
The EPTL provides mandatory statutes of limitations or time limits in which a personal representative can sue someone on a decedent’s behalf for wrongfully causing his death. Section 5-4.1 of the EPTL sets the statute of limitations at two years. Your personal representative or executor of your estate must file a wrongful death lawsuit within two years of death. However, the EPTL contains an exception to the two-year statute of limitations for the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist stacks. In this case, a lawsuit alleging a wrongful death caused by the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks are subject to limitations period of two years and six months from the date of the decedent’s death.
If the decedent’s death was caused by a criminal action and not just a wrongful or negligent act or failure to act, the EPTL allows the personal representative or executor of the decedent’s estate to maintain a wrongful death lawsuit within one-year from the date the criminal action terminates or ends. Thus, if the state maintains a criminal action against an individual or company for your death, your personal representative, administrator or executor has another year from the date the criminal action terminates to commence a wrongful death proceeding.
Check out our blog tomorrow to read Part 3 of How Can an Estate Maintain a Wrongful Death Lawsuit on a Decedent’s Behalf?