Georgia law allows for two types of lawsuits to be initiated following the death of an individual.One of them is known as a survival action, and the other is an action for wrongful death. Both of these may be evident in a recent case if legal pleadings that have allegedly surfaced in connection with the death of Bobbi Kristina Brown, daughter of the late Whitney Houston, prove to be authentic.
A survival action is one in which the successor in interest of a person, who is often the personal representative of that person's estate, either initiates or continues a lawsuit that the deceased would have had against the defendant had he or she survived. According to the alleged complaint against the former boyfriend of Ms. Brown, the allegations against him include theft and abuse. As neither of these would ordinarily be thought of as causing the death of an individual, it would appear that the legal foundation for the lawsuit would be based in a survival action.
A purported amendment to the alleged legal complaint by the conservator of Ms. Brown's estate, however, now claims that the former boyfriend was in fact responsible for causing herdeath, purportedly by means of providing her with a beverage that led her to lose consciousness and followed by the defendant allegedly placing Ms. Brown face down in a bathtub that hadwater in it. This amendment is in the nature of a wrongful death action.
Survival actions and wrongful death actions are not exclusive of each other; both may be alleged in the same or separate lawsuits. Nor are their claims for damages the same. The decision whether to file either or both of these causes of action in the event of the death of a loved one is a matter for careful consideration among surviving relatives, the estate representative, and legal counsel, which should be experienced in representing plaintiffs with these types of legal claims.
Source: CNN, "Lawsuit Alleges Bobbi Kristina Brown's boyfriend gave her 'toxic cocktail'," August 8, 201 5