Texas Wesleyan Law Review

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This comment explains how the derivative nature of death claims, combined with the MLIIA's accrual dates and its minority tolling provision, result in premature termination of minors' rights to file wrongful death claims caused by medical malpractice. Section I of this comment provides a brief explanation of events prompting the Texas Legislature to enact the MLIIA and the provisions legislators included in the statute to alleviate the perceived health care liability crisis. Section II discusses wrongful death causes of action and compares death causes of action brought under the Wrongful Death Act with death causes of action brought under the MLIIA. Section II also reviews Texas Supreme Court decisions applying the MLIIA to wrongful death claims. Section III surveys federal and state case law holding specific provisions or applications of the MLIIA are unconstitutional. Section IV reviews Texas case law interpreting and applying the MLIIA minority tolling provision to medical wrongful death claims brought by minor beneficiaries and by adult beneficiaries when minors are the decedents. In Section V, the author urges the Texas Legislature to amend the MLIIA minority tolling provision so that limitations commence on all minors' claims at age eighteen. Alternatively, the author urges the Texas Supreme Court to hold the current MLIIA minority tolling provision is unconstitutional, as applied to minors asserting medical wrongful death claims, because it violates the equal protection clause of the Texas Constitution.



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