A recent lawsuit filed by the family of a man who killed himself while under the care of Centerstone of Florida, Inc. accuses the mental health hospital of negligence.
The deceased is Duane Scott Riddick, who was a nurse, artist and fisherman who struggled with clinical depression. He checked himself into Centerstone Behavioral Hospital and Addiction Center in April 2018, but his family alleges the facility failed to provide him with reasonably competent treatment.
Among the allegations in the lawsuit is that Riddick was left in his room alone for nine hours before he hanged himself in his bathroom. Centerstone has protocols in place for patients at risk of suicide, requiring checks every 15 minutes and rooms that are completely free of dangerous objects. Riddick’s family claims the facility failed to follow these protocols, and therefore bears liability for his suicide.
An attorney for the family says video surveillance captured demonstrates “undeniable proof of negligence.” The attorney also said problems with low staffing and poor training also contributed to the poor care Riddick received.
Suicides can lead to wrongful death claims
There are some circumstances in which a person’s estate can bring a wrongful death lawsuit on their behalf if they are able to convincingly show a defendant was negligent or otherwise played a role in the victim’s death. By allegedly violating its own patient care protocols, Centerstone would be guilty of providing negligent, substandard care and thus face liability for the man’s death.