$1 Million Recovered for Suicide Death of Psychotic Patient

Hospital Malpractice

The family of a man who died as a result of inadequate medical services was awarded a $1,000,000 (one-million dollar) settlement against a Dutchess County, New York, hospital.

Our client, a 48-year-old husband and father, was brought to the emergency department of the hospital with complaints of paranoia and depression. The patient’s past medical history included bipolar disorder and suicide attempts. The patient was diagnosed with acute manic psychotic symptoms and involuntarily admitted to the hospital.

After the initial medical assessment in the emergency department, there was no further record that a medical provider saw or treated the patient. The patient left the hospital after waiting for 16 hours in the emergency department. One month later, his body was found on the shores of the Hudson River. The cause of death was suicide by drowning.

The lawsuit contended that emergency physicians deviated from the accepted standard of care, which states that a patient identified as “at risk for suicide” is not allowed to leave the hospital without a required one-on-one observation to ensure the patient does not harm himself.

The decedent is survived by his wife and daughter, and the settlement funds will provide funding for his daughter’s education.