The doctrines of res judicata and estoppel by judgment are fundamental rules of the law which in both theory and practice fit into rather well defined situations, with one significant exception. An attempt to apply these doctrines to actions for wrongful death points out a serious vacuum in the law. A consideration of whether an injured person's release during his lifetime of a claim for personal injuries bars later claim of his administrator for wrongful death and pain and suffering of decedent will bring the problem into clear perspective. The solution, and there appears to be none short of statutory enactment, would be no boon to either plaintiffs or defendants for as a result of the present state of Ohio law while defendants may be required to sustain their innocence twice, plaintiffs may be required to establish the liability of the defendant twice.
Traci P. Donald, Law and Logic: Conflict in Ohio's Wrongful Death Statute, 4 Clev.-Marshall L. Rev. 38 (1955)