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Deeds sues Virginia for negligence

January 6, 2016
by Julie Miller, Editor in Chief
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According to Reuters, Senator R. Creigh Deeds, (D-Va.) a 2009 Democratic gubernatorial candidate, has filed a $6 million lawsuit against the state of Virginia and a community services board.

During a mental-health crisis in 2013, the senator’s son Austin stabbed him 13 times and then committed suicide. Austin had recently been released from an emergency department because no psychiatric beds were available at the time. Deeds, who has visible scars from the incident, has since become an advocate for increased access to behavioral healthcare.

The lawsuit was filed in November in Bath County and seeks $5 million in compensatory damages and $1 million in punitive damages in connection with the suicide, claiming the state was negligent in not providing more emergency services to those in mental health crises.

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Comments

Some key facts are missing in this short story. There were, in fact, five beds available at the time but the hospital did not know this. Apparently, the provider misspoke about how many hospitals were actually called seeking a bed. It was also recommended a couple of years ago that Virginia develop a better system for tracking vacant beds so the information was readily available.

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