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Fort Myers Psychiatric Hospital Faces Lawsuits

The family of a man who committed suicide at Park Royal Hospital in Fort Myers in 2014 recently filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the 103-bed psychiatric hospital, alleging the facility was negligent when it allowed the now deceased patient to remain unsupervised. The patient’s tragic death is just another in a series of troubling cases plaguing the state of the art facility.

The Pendas Law Firm sends its thoughts and prayers to the victim’s family. Although our firm is not providing legal representation to any of the parties in this case, our lawyers regularly represent the families of wrongful death victims and are familiar with cases where carelessness results in senseless deaths.

Surveillance video shows conflicting evidence

Despite filling out a living will and hinting at suicide in the days preceding his death, the 51-year-old Massachusetts man was allowed to go unsupervised by his caseworker. One staff member at the facility in particular, James Landers, was tasked with checking on the victim every 15 minutes at night.

Landers’ log shows he made the checks, noting the patient was asleep and seen breathing. However, surveillance footage of the hospital shows that did not happen, according to the suit. During the window the deceased was allowed to remain unsupervised, he entered a bathroom and hung himself with his hospital gown.

When Landers finally did check on the patient, he found the victim unresponsive. The victim’s family filed the lawsuit in Lee County, naming Landers and Park Royal Hospital as defendants.

A lack of vigilance

The victim’s seemingly preventable death is just the latest in what appears to be a pattern in a lack of oversight at Park Royal Hospital. Owned by parent company Acadia Healthcare, Park Royal Hospital is the largest mental health facility in southwest Florida, meant to fill a decade’s long gap of having no in-patient mental health facility in the region.

Just a few weeks before the victim’s passing, another patient was allowed to go missing for two and a half hours despite staff insisting the patient was checked on at regular intervals. In response, an action plan was developed, yet it appears the staff fell short once again.

In 2013, another staff member was arrested and sentenced to five years in prison for sexually assaulting several women at Park Royal Hospital. The facility settled 11 civil lawsuits over the incident and is currently facing another claim, alleging yet another staff member abused a patient.

Fort Myers wrongful death lawyers

Families of wrongful death victims may be entitled to substantial compensation for the loss of their loved one if the death was caused by someone else’s negligence. The compassionate and dedicated wrongful death lawyers of the Pendas Law Firm understand the emotional turmoil families may face following the loss of a loved one.

Our lawyers can help families get answers and hold wrongdoers accountable for their lack of responsibility and carelessness. If you believe your family member’s death was caused by the negligence of someone else, contact the Pendas Law Firm for a consultation about your case. Our lawyers serve the Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Orlando, Fort Myers, Tampa, and Jacksonville areas.

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