Can the Status 'administrator of the Estate' Be Changed to 'administrator Ad Prosequendum' to Suit the State ?
Can the Status 'Administrator of the Estate' be Changed to 'Administrator Ad Prosequendum' to Suit the State and How Does this Affect the One Year Statute of Limitations ?
In Smith v. Pennsylvania R.R., 304 Pa. 294, 156 A. 89 (1931) the parties entered into a stipulation to correct the record by substituting Ward Smith (plaintiff) as "Administrator of the estate" with Ward Smith (plaintiff) as "Administrator ad prosequendum" in an underlying negligence action to recover for injuries sustained by the decedent, a Philadelphia resident, in an accident on a train track in New Jersey.
Such lawsuits could be filed in New Jersey only by an administrator ad prosequendum.
The trial court refused to allow the plaintiff to amend his statement of claim to aver the New Jersey statute and at trial granted a compulsory nonsuit for lack of the plaintiff's proper legal status.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court indicated that when the stipulation was filed, the one-year statute of limitations had expired on the right to file suit for death in Pennsylvania.
In reversing the trial court, the Supreme Court agreed that the stipulation amounted to an implied waiver by the defendant of the fact that the statute had run, and it held that the amendment should have been allowed, which placed the plaintiff properly upon the record as of the date the lawsuit was filed.
Thus the lawsuit was not time barred because the stipulation simply changed the right in which the plaintiff sued, affording him standing to prosecute the action.