Is a psychiatric holding facility liable for denying prescription medication?

Asked about 2 years ago - Glendale, CA

My daughter attempted suicide then held in a mental facility for 6 days. She has always suffered from seizures controlled by anti-convulsants. When admitted the psychiatrist stopped ALL medications until he met with her-3dys later. The 2nd night she had 2 seizures. After the 1st one she was told she was faking, then dragged into a containment room & locked in-only a bench, no blanket/pillow. An attendant was to observe overnight. During his break she had another seizure. He arrived back to find her on the floor: she was lifted back onto the bench, and given a pillow/blanket. The next day before seeing the psychiatrist her meds were re-started. Is this facility liable for anything? If so what?

Additional information

What type of lawyer would we even talk to? Personal injury malpractice??? We have absolutely no idea!! Thats why I've written to Avvo. She was told she was faking and received no medical attention, even though she had fallen during both seizures. Removing her medication left her at risk of seizure, bodily damage and or death. When I asked if anything was documented I was told no as she was faking it. They said that the type of people in there fake all kinds of things. When she was 1st admitted and her meds were removed we asked them not to remove her anti-convulsants and were told it was standard procedure that ALL meds be removed. We contacted her neurologist and psychiatrist, both said the same: as she was in there they had no say in her medicating.

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Rebekah Ryan Main


    Contributor Level 18


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The answer to your question is: It depends. It certainly sounds like its worth investigating. However, I would need to better understand both what happened and why the MD discontinued her meds before I could comment on that. More importantly, I would need to know what damages your daughter suffered as a result. Has another physician indicated that the seizures she suffered caused her some injury? There are a lot of questions to answer before you’ll know if there is a cause of action here.

    In your case, you should gather your daughter’s medical records and meet with an attorney. Keep in mind that you have a short time in which to bring your claim, so act quickly.

    Best of luck to you.

    Attorney Rebekah Ryan Main

    If you found this answer helpful, let me know by clicking the "Mark as Helpful" button at the bottom of this answer or select it as Best Answer. It’s easy and appreciated.

    This response is intended to be a general statement of law, should not be relied upon as legal advice, does not create an attorney/client relationship and does not create a right to continuing email exchanges. We can be visited on the web at or call 909-891-0906.

    This response is intended to be a general statement of law, should not be relied upon as legal advice, does not... more
  2. Marc Edward Stewart

    Contributor Level 16


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Depends what you mean by "liable." Might a complaint to the CA Medical Board result in a sanction against the physician that ordered her removed from her seizure med? Possibly so. Might a lawsuit based on medical negligence succeed? Not likely based on your story. I presume you would have told us if our daughter had suffered a serious injury from the seizures during this 3 day windows when she was removed from her med. if she was indeed seriously injured, you might have a valid lawsuit. If she was not injured, you'd have no damages to pursue.

    I'm not a CA lawyer so you should get advice on the law and your statute of limitations locally.

  3. Robert Don Fink

    Contributor Level 16

    Answered . You need to speak with a local medical malpractice lawyer

Can't find what you're looking for? Ask a Lawyer

Get free answers from experienced attorneys.


Ask now

30,368 answers this week

3,215 attorneys answering

Ask a Lawyer

Get answers from top-rated lawyers.

  • It's FREE
  • It's easy
  • It's anonymous

30,368 answers this week

3,215 attorneys answering