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Mental health facility sued following suicide of actor's son

Posted on in Wrongful Death

A California mental health care facility has been accused of negligence in a wrongful death lawsuit by the soap opera star Kristoff St. John and his wife. The litigation follows the 2014 suicide of the couple's 24-year-old son Julian. The young man took his own life after a long battle with schizophrenia. However, 'The Young and the Restless" star claims that the tragedy was foreseeable and could have been prevented if his son had received adequate care.

The wrongful death lawsuit claims that staff at the Long Beach facility attempted to cover up their allegedly negligent actions by falsifying documents. The St. Johns say that their son had tried to kill himself with a plastic bag three weeks prior to his suicide, which should have placed medical staff on high alert.

In addition to not taking adequate steps to protect their son, the St. Johns allege in their lawsuit that the facility altered records to show that several regular checks had been made on Julian. They say that the checks were recorded in the facility's books even though they did not take place. The lawsuit also claims that the facility continued to receive Julian's welfare checks after his suicide. A representative for the facility said that the Los Angeles Department of Mental Health had conducted an investigation and determined that Julian St. John was provided with care appropriate to his condition.

A personal injury attorney will often file a wrongful death lawsuit following fatal accidents caused by negligent actions, but this kind of litigation may also be brought against medical facilities when a lack of adequate care leads to the death of a patient. A wrongful death lawsuit may seek to compensate family members for expenses such as medical bills and funeral costs by holding negligent parties financially responsible for their actions.

Source: CBS News, "Soap star blames mental health facility for son's suicide", May 28, 2015

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