fbpx

Statute of Limitations Can Mean Justice Denied

Huguette ClarkEvery civil action in the United States is subject to a statute of limitations. That is a time period within which a lawsuit must be filed after the complained of activity took place. Failure to file within that time period may have cost one estate millions of dollars.

Wealthy copper heiress Huguette Clark was likely a troubled woman. For 20 years before her 2011 death at the age of 104, she had lived in a private room at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York. However, it appears that there may have been no medical reason for her to have been confined to that room.

Her executor filed a lawsuit against the medical center alleging that it had unnecessarily bilked Clark out of millions of dollars due to the confinement and through smarmy friendships. In total, the estate was seeking $95 million from the hospital.

According to The New York Post‘s article, "Hospital doesn't owe Huguette Clark's estate due to loophole," the case has been thrown out because it was not brought within the statute of limitations. It is important to note that this is not a decision on the merits of the case.

Even if the case had not been dismissed because of the statute of limitations, Clark's estate still would have had to prove its case against the hospital. The statute operates to block the estate from getting to argue the case on its merits.

The lesson here is that anytime you think that you have a potential legal action against someone else, you need to speak with an attorney as soon as possible. This is especially true for people administering an estate because they can potentially be held personally liable for mistakes made in the administration.

You can learn more about this topic as well as other strategies on our website under the tab entitled: estate planning in Virginia. Be sure you also sign up for our complimentary e-newsletter so that you may be informed of all the latest issues that could affect you, your loved ones and your estate planning.  However, proper estate planning is not a do-it-yourself project.  Why not call us for a complimentary consultation at 757-259-0707.  

Reference: New York Post (August 24, 2015) "Hospital doesn't owe Huguette Clark's estate due to loophole."

 

Like this article?

Share on facebook
Share on Facebook
Share on twitter
Share on Twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on Linkdin
Share on pinterest
Share on Pinterest

Leave a comment

LIKE THIS POST?

We have a LOT more where that came from!

We hate spam too. We will never share or sell your information.

Call Now ButtonCall Us Now https://jsfiddle.net/7h5246b8/

Request a free consultation

We hate spam too. We will never share or sell your information.

We've been putting together as many resources as possible so that we can continue to help:

  • If you’re a current client with a signing appointment or a prospective client with a consultation and would prefer that meeting take place in your own home, we can accomplish that with a little bit of pre-planning on our part and with the addition of a laptop, smartphone, tablet or other computer in your home to facilitate this virtual meeting. For those of you that need to sign legal documents, that too can be accomplished with the use of a webcam (FaceTime etc.), so that we can witness and electronically notarize all of your important legal documents.
  • We launched the rollout of our on-demand webinar early so that new clients and our allied professionals can view the important component parts of ‘an estate plan that works’ at their convenience.  That is available on our website.
  • Live video workshops will be produced as quickly as possible and certainly ahead of our previous schedule; we will keep you posted as these events become available. Given the ‘boutique’ nature of the firm, we rarely have more than ten people in our office including team members at any one time. During this period of ‘social distancing,’ we promise to have no more than 8 people at any time.   This allows us to comply with the Governor’s directive to limit in-person gatherings.
  • The best way to communicate with us is still by phone during regular office hours of 8:30 to 5:00, Monday through Friday, or, you can email any of our team members (that is, their first name followed by @zarembalaw.com).  We will respond to these emails as quickly as possible.
  • Please continue to follow the directives of our local, state, and federal agencies. For your health and in consideration of our team who is assisting you, if you’ve scheduled an office appointment or planned to drop off paperwork and are experiencing a fever, dry cough, or shortness of breath, please contact your primary care doctor for guidance and then our office to reschedule.

Thank you, Walt and the Zaremba Team

Coronavirus/Covid-19
Update to our Process

The unprecedented coronavirus pandemic has taken our entire country by surprise. We understand how difficult this time is for America’s businesses and families.  However, we believe it is vitally important that we make every effort possible to continue to offer solutions that avoid disrupting our important partnership with you, your family and friends.  As you know, estate planning is not something that should wait for a more convenient time, therefore the opportunity to address your important goals both during and after this crisis should not wait.  To that end, we have added the option of a ‘virtual consultation’ to our office process.  You will now have a choice of either meeting with us in our office or in the comfort of your own home.