My son committed suicide after not getting help or medication in a mandatory psychiatric holding facility. Can I sue them for malpractice or wrongful death?
Psychiatrists, hospitals, or mental health facilities owe a duty of care to take responsible steps to prevent foreseeable suicide. This special relationship is born out of the patient’s dependency on the health care provider who “has some control over the (patient’s) welfare” [Kockelman v. Segal (1998)].
Under the principle of special relationship, a victim’s family or heirs may file a wrongful death claim against healthcare providers, if they have reason to believe that their negligence is the proximate cause of the victim’s suicide.
For more information about a medical or health care provider’s liability for the suicide of a loved one, consult with an attorney who is an expert in personal injury cases.