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Court Of Appeals Revives Wrongful-Death Suit

Last updated on Friday, December 21, 2007

(INDIANAPOLIS) - The Indiana Court of Appeals has revived a wrongful-death suit against a Fort Wayne nursing home.

Martha O'Neal died in 2001, six weeks after she was found lying in a pool of her own blood at Bethlehem Woods Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.

An Allen County judge had ruled the claim belongs under malpractice law, not wrongful death. That would have ended the suit, because of the statute of limitations.

Suits must be filed within two years, but the clock starts ticking on a wrongful-death suit when the person dies. In a malpractice case, it starts when the malpractice is committed.

O'Neal had gone to Bethlehem Woods following surgery. Her family says the incision was ripped open when the nursing home placed her in a wheelchair that was too small.

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