In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court of Florida affirmed the right of Jennifer Ripple, who married the decedent after the onset of the injury that led to his death, to seek damages as a “surviving spouse” under section 768.21(2) of the Florida Wrongful Death Act. This ruling, championed by The Ferraro Law Firm, represents a significant change from previous interpretations and establishes a new precedent that ensures equitable treatment for spouses—regardless of the timing of their marriage relative to the injury.

Jennifer Ripple, who married Richard Counter soon after he was diagnosed with mesothelioma and before he passed away, initially had her claim for damages rejected. She was seeking compensation for the loss of companionship and mental anguish. Despite marrying Richard after his diagnosis, she contested the rejection, arguing that she should still be recognized as a “surviving spouse.” The Ferraro Law Firm took up her case and appealed the decision, pushing for her eligibility for compensation.

View Ruling

How The Ferraro Law Firm is Facing Wrongful Death Claims

In the Ripple case, amidst all the legal talk and complexity, the heart of the matter remains the victims and their families. At The Ferraro Law Firm, we stand by their side, offering support and guidance as our clients navigate the challenging path toward justice and closure. We understand the pain and hardship they’re enduring, and we’re committed to fighting for them—and with them—every step of the way.

If you or a loved one have been impacted by wrongful death, it can be helpful to seek legal assistance right away. A wrongful death lawyer can provide valuable guidance and support, helping make sure that your rights are protected and that you receive the compensation you need to cover medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses.

The Role of a Wrongful Death Lawyer

A wrongful death lawyer plays an important role in advocating for the rights of the deceased and their loved ones, guiding them through the legal process, and seeking justice on their behalf. With experience in navigating the complexities of wrongful death cases, wrongful death attorneys can serve as dedicated allies for those in need.

Reach Out to Our Team


  • What constitutes wrongful death in Florida?
  • How does Florida law define a surviving spouse in wrongful death cases?
  • What damages can be recovered in a wrongful death lawsuit?
  • What is the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Florida?