On July 17, 2017 Bronx County Supreme Court Justice Capella dismissed a wrongful death medical malpractice action against a local hospital and nursing home brought by a son on behalf of his dead mother. The Complaint in the first lawsuit referred to the son as a "proposed administrator". The hospital successfully moved to dismiss that lawsuit pointing out to the Court that since formal letters of administration had not been issued to the son by the Surrogate's Court, the plaintiff lacked legal capacity to sue. (When someone dies without a will naming an Executor or Executrix, Letters of Administration must be obtained before filing a claim for wrongful death or personal injuries.)
Five months after the first lawsuit was dismissed, the attorney's for the son filed a second identical Complaint except described the son as a "voluntary administrator". Unfortunately, a "voluntary administrator" has extremely limited powers and is only available for small estates involving $30,000 or less. A "voluntary administrator" does not have legal authority to file wrongful death or personal injury actions. Only an Administrator with Letters of Administration can do so. Once again the defendant's filed a motion to dismiss which was granted. Because the statute of limitations or deadline for filing wrongful death actions had expired, it is too late to remedy this error.