The family of an Ohio army veteran recently sued the man's doctors after he committed suicide in August 2009. According to the suit, the doctors began treating the man for post-traumatic stress disorder when he returned from Iraq.
The family claimed that the doctors treated the man's mental illness and back pain with prescribed medication and nothing else. The plaintiff's attorney questioned the amount of time the doctors actually spent with the veteran, who was determined to be a suicide risk due to the brain injury he had suffered. The defendants' attorney stated that the doctors did nothing wrong in their treatment of the veteran, who was 25 when he died. The family members are suing for medical malpractice and wrongful death.
When a family member dies due to negligence, the surviving family is often left with extensive financial and emotional damage. In many cases, the family may be left to deal with medical costs and sudden funeral expenses while their family finances have decreased due to the deceased person's loss of income. However, certain family members, including parents, spouses or unmarried children of the decedent may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim in order to seek compensation for their loss.
In some cases, the family members may be able to negotiate with the defendants to come to an agreement for a compensation amount. In other cases, however, the parties may not come to an agreement. This means that the case may end up in trial and a jury could decide whether the death was indeed a wrongful death and what the final award should be.
Source: WFMJ, "Veterans family suing their late sons doctors for wrongful death and medical malpractice", Lindsay McCoy, January 21, 2014