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Mother sues Wisconsin hospital for its role in son's suicide

Accepting that one's child, adult or not, needs constant medical help and supervision would be hard for many parents to accept. In the case of a Wisconsin family, the 27-year-old son suffered from schizophrenia and after getting into legal trouble was committed to a mental hospital.

One might think that at least a patient would be safe while in a hospital because of the around-the-clock staff and their training. The family of the mentally ill patient, however, learned in the most severe way that negligence might exist within the walls of even a hospital.

On April 7, 2010, the Wisconsin patient was found dead in his room. He had used a sock to strangle himself. The mother recently filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the hospital and some of its staff for not preventing the death of her ill son. She claims that it was negligent for no one to have checked on her son in time to have prevented his death.

The lawsuit indicates that the hospital staff was responsible for checking in on its patient every 15 minutes, but the suicide victim in this case went unmonitored for about 18 hours. The hospital has been cited for violations and vowed in response to better train its workers. But that is not enough for the mourning family whose son is gone.

Exactly what the plaintiff seeks in damages is undisclosed. No matter what she might win, the supposed negligence already happened. Her son is gone. No amount of money or firing of workers will bring back what she's lost. Still, moving forward with a lawsuit is important to many because they want to send a further message to careless parties that their negligence had a profound impact on others. A lawsuit can require change from negligent parties and, therefore, protect other hospital patients.

Our Wisconsin wrongful death attorneys can help those who feel that they want to fight for justice after having lost a loved one.

Source: Wisconsin State Journal, "Mom of man who committed suicide at Mendota files wrongful death suit," Ed Treleven, Feb. 13, 2013

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