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Do I have a personal injury or wrongful death case?

Summit, MS |

Last friday, my dad was taken to a local hospital. He was suicidal, and the paramedics almost nearly allowed him to jump out of the back of the ambulance. He told the doctor, nurse, and paramedics that he "just wanted to die," but they left him alone in the room with no restraints so he could give a urine sample. When they reentered the room, he was gone. They looked for him, and realized he'd managed to remove a ceiling tile and was in the ceiling. They laughed at him and called maintenance (my mom and I witnessed this). The ceiling tiles then collapsed, and he fell on his head. He died two days later from the injuries he had sustained. The hospital admits they violated procedure, and has reprimanded every employee who was on duty. Dad has six kids. Do we have a case?

Attorney Answers 7


  1. Im not licensed to practice in your state, but from what you said, I think you should definitely contact a local personal injury atty immediately. Id look for one who does medical malpractice. Many states have special rules and limits on malpractice cases, and special rules that my apply if it is a government run hospital or a public entity.

    Sorry for your loss.


  2. Yes, definitely worth looking into with a lawyer in your area that does medical mapractice.


  3. Given these circumstances you need to talk with a local medical malpractice attorney ASAP. You can look right here at www.avvo.com

    Good luck

    DISCLAIMER: David J. McCormick is licensed to practice law in the State of Wisconsin and this answer is being provided for informational purposes only because the laws of your jurisdiction may differ. This answer based on general legal principles and is not intended for the purpose of providing specific legal advice or opinions. Under no circumstances does this answer constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship.


  4. First, I am very sorry for your loss --- a loss which likely could have been avoided.

    From what you have said in this post, you have enough to go forward with, at least in consulting with an attorney who specializes in medical malpractice.

    Our office has handled similar cases where reasonable restraint would have prevented horrific injuries or death in a hospital or health care setting.

    Feel free to contact me about this case. If you are looking for an attorney locally, I might suggest Jose B. Simo in Summit.

    Regardless, I again would like to express my sympathy towards you and your family for your loss, and wish you luck in your future endeavors.

    W. Andrew Neely

    Stracener & Neely, PLLC
    304 North Congress Street (39201)
    Galloway House, Second Floor
    Post Office Box 23148
    Jackson, Mississippi 39225
    Email: andrew@sn-law.net
    Phone: 601-206-0885


  5. I am so sorry this happened to your dad, and that you and your mom witnessed the degrading and inappropriate conduct of the hospital staff. I have handled similar cases (a suicidal man left on his own, resulting in severe injuries and brain damage in our case, for example); and I encourage you to get a good lawyer and prosecute this case to the fullest. There are governing bodies that can sanction the staff and hospital; and they should be on your list of who to contact, too. This sort of thing should not go on; and we should do what we can to see that some other individual/family does not go through similar events.
    Best of luck to you and your family.


  6. There are many other examples of successful and unsuccessful malpractice lawsuits. If you are interested in reading about more of these, we suggest checking out a book called Medical Malpractice: Psychiatric Care by Joseph T. Smith. The "Pocket Update" of this book was published in 1995. It is an expensive book but can be found in most law libraries where you can read it for free."If a person suspects he or she has been a victim of malpractice she/he should consult with an attorney who specializes in medical malpractice or, if you can find one, an attorney who specializes in psychiatric malpractice. "To find these specialists, look in the yellow pages for the telephone number of your state's Bar Association or Lawyer Referral Service. You might also try contacting the Protection and Advocacy Program in your state. If you don't know that number, contact your local consumer organization, Department of Mental Health or the National Empowerment Center (1-800-power2u (800-769-3728) or 1-800-TTY-POWER) and ask for the phone number of your state's Protection and Advocacy Program. They should be able to give you a referral.
    you may contact National Empowerment Center, Inc. All rights reserved
    599 Canal St., Lawrence, MA
    800-power2u (800-769-3728), From outside the US: 978-685-1494

    The materials available at this web site are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Use of and access to this Web site or any of the e-mail links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship between Howard Roitman, Esq. and the user or browser. The opinions expressed at or through this site are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the firm or any individual attorney.


  7. You do have a potential case. I suggest you contact a local attorney with experience in medical malpractice.

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