St. Joseph’s Health System is sued for $8.5M by Family members of two men who ended their own lives while in hospital.
The two men, Brandon Taylor, 29 and Joel Verge,42 committed suicide while allegedly under supervision at a Hamilton hospital.
Michael Smitiuch, the lawyer representing the Taylor and Verge families says that the hospital was aware both men were at risk of trying to take their own lives and had instructed that they be supervised.
Smitiuch says Taylor was admitted to hospital after a drug and alcohol overdose, and was supposed to be checked on every 15 minutes because he was deemed to be at risk of self-harm.He says Verge, was supposed to be under constant supervision following a previous attempt to take his own life.
He says,”The lawsuit is a negligence claim against the hospital for failing to properly supervise both of these individuals, and secondly giving them the actual means to take their own lives.”
He alleges that the supervision plans failed, and both men killed themselves while left alone with items they were allowed to have in their rooms.
He highlights that the men are among 11 who took their own lives over the past two years while being treated as in-patients, out-patients and while on day passes at St. Joseph’s Health System.
David Higgins, president of St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, said in a written statement that the hospital has already implemented many recommendations made in an external review of suicides at the hospital, and it is committed to completing the rest.