Legistlator sues mental health agency, worker for son’s death

Friday January 15, 2016

In November 2013, a Virginia state senator was stabbed several times by his son. The senator’s son then committed suicide. The senator survived, and he has now filed a medical malpractice and wrongful death lawsuit against the mental health agency, a mental health worker and the state of Virginia.

The lawsuit states that the mental health worker and the community services board did not find the son a psychiatric bed, which was a breach of their duties. The mental health worker called seven facilities looking for a bed. Two facilities that were not contacted had beds available. The son was released to his father. The senator was attacked by his son just 13 hours after he was released.

The senator said in a prepared statement released by his attorneys, “Virginia’s mental health care system failed my son … I am committed that my son’s needless death shall not be in vain, and that no other Virginia family suffer this tragedy.”

In May 2014, the senator filed a notice of his intent to sue and the lawsuit was filed the following November.

While this tragic incident did not occur in Connecticut, it is important for people to realize that medical malpractice lawsuits are not just filed against medical doctors, surgeons or hospitals. The named defendants can be those who deal with a patient’s mental health. When a lack of treatment results in a worsened condition or leads to patient’s death, the victim or the victim’s family has a right to hold those responsible accountable. An attorney can determine if you have a case for compensation.

Source: ctpost.com, “Senator sues state, mental health officials over son’s death,” Larry O’dell, Associated Press, Jan. 05, 2016

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