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Online Petitions – Do They Work? Florida Mother Fights For Change In Wrongful Death Law

By now, you’ve probably seen several online petitions going around asking for your support on a number of different issues.  Do they work?  Sometimes.  According to Change.org, the most successful petitions have the following things in common:

  1. The goal is compelling and achievable.
  2. The petition is delivered directly to the decision maker.
  3. Social media tools are used to get the word out and recruit supporters.
  4. The online petition is followed up by offline action.

A Florida mother recently started her own petition to change Florida’s Wrongful Death Act after her son died as the result of medical negligence.  Linda Porter’s 38-year-old son, Pete, went to a hospital in New Port Richey with complaints of abdominal pain.  According to Porter, the hospital negligently administered numerous medications, including narcotics, in a short amount of time.  Porter, a trained nurse, believes the medications created an “overdose” situation that caused Pete’s respiratory system to shut down.  He was placed on life support, fell into a coma, and ultimately died.

Porter’s petition is targeted at a loophole in Florida’s Wrongful Death Act that prevents parents of adult children (age 25 and older) from recovering damages when the death is caused by medical negligence. Is the mental anguish from a child’s death any less severe if the death was caused by medical negligence versus an automobile accidence?  Certainly not.

While it’s too soon to tell if Porter’s petition will trigger a change in the law, it has created awareness of this important issue.  Tragically, preventable medical errors have been reported as the number 3 killer in the United States – third only to heart disease and cancer – claiming the lives of more than 400,000 people each year.  Porter hopes her petition will ignite a change in the law that creates rights for parents of adult children to seek justice in future medical negligence cases.

If you have a question about a potential medical negligence case, call the attorneys at Baggett Law today for a free consultation. 904.396.1100

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