Isaac v. Mount Sinai Hospital
In Isaac v. Mount Sinai Hospital, 210 Conn. 721, 733, 557 A.2d 116 (1989), the plaintiff's decedent died on April 10, 1979, and a wrongful death action was commenced on March 30, 1981, by the plaintiff as administratrix. Isaac v. Mount Sinai Hospital, supra, 210 Conn. at 723.
The complaint alleged that the plaintiff had been appointed administratrix on May 17, 1979. Id. In 1982, the plaintiff discovered that she had not been named administratrix. Id.
On September 28, 1982, the plaintiff was appointed administratrix, at which time the statute of limitations for bringing a wrongful death action had passed. Id.
The trial court dismissed the action for lack of subject matter jurisdiction because, at the time the action was brought, the plaintiff was not an administratrix and could not bring the action. 210 Conn. at 724.
The Supreme Court held that the accidental failure of suit statute allowed the plaintiff to bring a new action. Isaac v. Mount Sinai Hospital, supra, 210 Conn. at 723.
The Isaac court determined that 52-592 controlled, rather than the statute of limitations for wrongful death actions, and that the original action was an "action" within the meaning of 52-592. 210 Conn. at 729-31.
The court relied, in part, on General Statutes 52-45a, which provides that a civil action is commenced by a writ of summons describing the parties and accompanied by the plaintiff's complaint. Isaac v. Mount Sinai Hospital, supra, 210 Conn. at 729. "The word action means the lawful demand of one's right in a court of justice; and in this sense it may be said to include any proceeding in such a court for the purpose of obtaining such redress as the law provides." 210 Conn. at 730.