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Failure to Properly Secure a Mental Health Patient

Washington state has agreed to pay $1.3 million to settle a medical malpractice lawsuit that was brought by one of its former hospitals by a man who escaped out of the window of a county-owned mental hospital and hurt himself jumping onto a fire-escape landing. It was alleged that, while the man was being held in a “seclusion room,” he was not adequately monitored by the hospital and that the room was not adequately secured. The man climbed out of a window, walked along a narrow area, and then jumped to the roof of an adjacent area, which enabled him to reach the roof of another building. He then jumped to the fire escape landing. The man suffered multiple fractures in the fall.

As an experienced Baltimore, Maryland medical malpractice lawyer, I and my office have successfully handled a number of cases in which people are injured or killed due to the failure of those in charge of persons to properly care for them. In one case, a psychologist and psychologist who saw a psychotic patient in an emergency room improperly discharged him, resulting in the patient’s suicide the next day. In another case, a hospital failed to properly restrain and monitor a patient, causing his death from asphyxiation. In yet another case, a teenager at a youth facility was improperly put into a prone restraint, asphyxiated and killed.

These cases require a knowledge of how hospitals and residential facilities operate, and the standard of care in those facilities. They also require a knowledge of practices and procedure in such facilities, and the experts who can testify in such cases.