Legal Question in Civil Litigation in Pennsylvania

My brother is a mental patient in the state of PA, having suffered mental problems for the past 20 years. Our mother passed about a year ago and unfortunately he has gotten very bad since this occurred, they were very close. He was committed to a hospital several times throughout the last year, the last time about 10 days ago. He was violent and hit several people so they had him in isolation. Yesterday we received a call that while he was in isolation he repeatedly punched himself over and over in his eye to the point that be broke his hand,broke his orbital bone and did severe damage to his eye. Had emergency surgery and they informed us he will probably lose his eye. Does the hospital he was in for mental treatment have any responsibility to watch him? I am at a loss as to why if they knew he was being violent that he was just put by himself with no supervision. Or with him being a mental patient that voluntarily committed himself does this go out the window and they have him sign waivers to cover all of this? He was with social workwers when signing paperwork to commit himself for treatment, so not sure exactly what he signed.

Asked on 2/03/14, 7:48 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Betty Tsamis Tsamis Law Firm PC
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I am so sorry to hear about your brother. In general, a patient who is under observation for the behaviors you described should be montiored in a manner to reduce the possibility of injury to himself. It sounds like your brother may not have been properly monitored. Even in isolation, there is and should be monitoring of mental health patients to prevent danger/harm to themselves. Feel free to contact us directly with any further questions: btsamis@tsamislaw.com.

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2/03/14, 8:20 am

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