Civil case against decedent's estate is upheld after Supreme Court questioned lower court's refusal to dismiss
Paul Marsack sued the Estate of Laura Gabriel for negligence. Gabriel's attorneys argued that a change in the law prevented the filing of any claim against a decedent's estate, period. The Court of Appeals rejected this interpretation of the law, but the Supreme Court granted an appeal and ordered the Court of Appeals to re-examine the claim. The Supreme Court suggested that the lower court did not understand the claim argued by the Estate.The Court of Appeals reconsidered the action and thoughtfully explained its decision, hopefully to the satisfaction of the conservative higher court. The Court of Appeals pointed out that the Defendant Estate wrongfully argued that it could be sued only under a particular statute, the language of which had recently been modified to eliminate language regarding suits "against" an Estate. The Judges noted that this modification was made when EPIC, the comprehensive set of Probate Court Rules and procedures, was adopted. Under EPIC, a separate statute governs claims against decedent's estates, and the instant case was brought under that statute, not the statute mistakenly cited by the Defendant.