Non-Family Members Eligible for Wrongful Death Claims in Ohio
The Supreme Court of Ohio has determined that persons acting in loco parentis (that is, persons acting as caretakers - which presumably would include step-parents who have assumed the role of a parent) for a child whose death has resulted from another's negligence are permitted to join a wrongful death suit only where the following four tests are met by clear and convincing evidence:
1. The natural parents of the child have disclaimed or abandoned parental rights to the child;
2. The one claiming to be a parent has performed the obligations of parenthood for a substantial period of time;
3. The child and the one claiming to be parent have held themselves out to be parent and child for a substantial period of time; and
4. The relationship between the child and the one claiming to be parent has been publicly recognized.
Lawson v. Atwood, 42 Ohio St.3d 69, 536 N.E.2d 1167 (1989).
Columbus, Ohio Wrongful Death Attorneys
The law firm of Harris & Engler handles wrongful death cases all over Ohio, but most predominantly in Franklin, Delaware, and Union counties. The law firm of Harris & Engler is located in Columbus, Ohio, and you can talk with an attorney at Harris & Engler today by calling (614) 610-9988.