Medical Malpractice - Negligent failure to prevent suicide

Injuries 
Wrongful death resulting from medical malpractice and the failure of the hospital staff to monitor and protect patient from suicide
Amount of Settlement
$675,000
Date of Settlement
Settled after post-trial motions
Plaintiffs’ Counsel
Ronald E. Gluck, Boston, Massachusetts
Court
Worcester Superior Court
Details of the Case

At the age of sixteen, the victim in this medical malpractice case was diagnosed with schizophrenia. In the months leading to his death at the age of nineteen he became self-mutilating and had occasional suicidal ideation. Following an incident where he punctured his scalp with a nail, an infection set in necessitating surgery. After one month of hospitalization, he was transferred to the psychiatric unit of defendant’s extended care facility for IV antibiotic therapy. The man's room was on the fourth floor of the building, which had unsecured windows.

Within 24 hours of the his admission to the facility, he was observed pacing in front of the window and repeatedly opening the window. He was then put on a one-on-one suicide watch. However, the nursing attendant positioned himself in such a way that the patient still had full access to the window.

Due to the attendant's inattention, the man was able to open the window and jump to his death.

Damages were assessed by a Worcester Superior Court judge, who found for the plaintiff in the amount of $600,000. The case was settled for $675,000, which represented the $600,000 damage assessment plus $75,000 in interest.

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David really cared about me as an individual…and he really cared about seeking the justice that needed to be sought in the case.
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Ron got the insurance company to settle for the maximum on the policy. And so as a result of that, my son went back to school. Jeff
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Marc just guided us through the whole process. He told us exactly what would happen and how we needed to go about doing everything. Jesenia
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