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ARTICLE ID 190006

$________ CONFIDENTIAL FOLLOWING MEDIATION – MEDICAL MALPRACTICE – PSYCHIATRY – FAILURE TO DIAGNOSE AND MONITOR MENTALLY ILL PATIENT AT RISK FOR SUICIDE – WRONGFUL DEATH OF 45-YEAR-OLD FOLLOWING BRAIN DAMAGE FROM ATTEMPTED SUICIDE.

Withheld County, MA

In this negligence matter, the plaintiff alleged that the defendant hospital and the defendant psychiatrist were negligent in failing to properly assess, diagnose and monitor the patient’s suicide risk. As a result, the patient, who was mentally ill, had a failed suicide attempt that resulted in brain damage and then eventual death. The defendants denied the allegations and disputed liability for the plaintiff’s damages.

The 45-year-old female plaintiff with a history of mental illness and drug addiction came under the care of the defendant hospital and the defendant psychiatrist. She complained of increased suicidal ideation. Despite an admission assessment that categorized the patient as a high suicide risk, the defendant’s staff supplied her with a terrycloth bathrobe that had a tie. The patient removed the tie from the robe and attempted to hang herself in the bathroom. She was discovered by the staff with no pulse and resuscitation was undertaken; however, the patient had suffered severe lack of oxygen and resulting brain injury. She lived with around-the-clock care for two years after the incident and died from associated complications.

The plaintiff brought suit against the hospital alleging that it was negligent to provide a suicidal patient with a robe outfitted with a tie fastener and in failing to conduct regular checks of the patient. The plaintiff also alleged that the hospital failed to inspect the patient’s belongings upon her admission to ensure that she did not have anything in her belongings that would assist her in committing suicide. The plaintiff further alleged that the defendant psychiatrist was negligent in failing to properly assess the patient’s suicide risk and failed to ensure that frequent safety checks were conducted of the patient to assure her safety from herself.

The defendants denied the allegations and disputed the plaintiff’s claim of negligence and damages. Despite these denials, the parties agreed to resolve the plaintiff’s complaint following mediation shortly after litigation was filed.The parties resolved the matter for the sum of $________.

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