State sued over patient's suicide - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

State sued over patient's suicide

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Posted: Friday, September 20, 2013 12:00 am

COEUR d'ALENE - The family of a Kootenai County man who doctors found to be mentally ill and later committed suicide while in involuntary custody at a state hospital have filed a lawsuit against the state of Idaho.

Steven L. Ferry Sr. committed suicide by electrocuting himself at State Hospital North, in Orofino, on Sept. 18, 2011.

The lawsuit in 1st District Court was filed by Steven Ferry Jr., also a Kootenai County resident, and the estate of Steven L. Ferry Sr. through attorney Ian Smith, of Coeur d'Alene. Smith declined to comment on Thursday.

The lawsuit said the Ferry family is demanding a jury trial and damages in excess of $10,000.

In August 2011, the state filed an application for involuntary care and treatment of Steven Ferry Sr. after he had attempted suicide.

Two designated examiners found Ferry to be mentally ill, likely to injure himself, and unable to make informed decisions about treatment, according to the lawsuit filed Sept. 12. One examiner also said he was gravely disabled.

Ferry was initially treated at Kootenai Health, then known as Kootenai Medical Center. He was transferred to State Hospital North.

While involuntarily held, he was treated for severe depression, mood disorder, mixed personality disorder and suicide ideation.

The lawsuit said the defendants allegedly failed to provide Ferry with a safe environment and didn't adequately supervise him. The alleged actions and failures by the state "resulted in the wrongful death of Ferry," the lawsuit said.

State Hospital North is a 55-bed psychiatric hospital that provides treatment for adults, according to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.

A spokesman for Health and Welfare declined to comment, as did a representative from the Idaho Attorney General's office.

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  • IdahoNative posted at 5:29 pm on Mon, Sep 23, 2013.

    IdahoNative Posts: 43

    For "ilikecoffee"

    Don't preach "dictionary" to me when your whole rant was nothing more than a huge run-on sentence, not to mention Grammatically incorrect and incoherent. Nice try for your first comment. Keep trying. The practice will do you some good.

    Re-read your rant and look at the structure. It's clear you're not educated and ignorant yourself.

    Kisses. xx

  • Joe D posted at 1:23 pm on Sat, Sep 21, 2013.

    Joe D Posts: 2639

    Steve and I where friends when we were kids. I never would have thought that he would take his own life. When someone is in a hospital like that, I think the staff has a duty to keep an extremely close eye on it's patients. I mean, how does a man acquirer the things needed to electrocute himself while on suicide watch? I think that facility let him down. For everyone's information Steve was a native of Cd'A.

  • ilikecoffee posted at 7:40 am on Sat, Sep 21, 2013.

    ilikecoffee Posts: 1

    IDAHONATIVE,i'm from Idaho also.i think you are very ignorant to use an article about a mans suicide as a forum to smear Californians.start your own blog about people from other states and keep this about a familys grief.go get your dictionary so you can read this article as I assume you are very ignorant.

  • IdahoNative posted at 8:06 pm on Fri, Sep 20, 2013.

    IdahoNative Posts: 43

    "The lawsuit said the Ferry family is demanding a jury trial and damages in excess of $10,000."

    I guess that's all they feel this family member is worth. I agree with Why Not. I smell California natives who are behind this lawsuit. It's how it is over there in California. It's a sue happy state. That's why it's full of illegals and everyone with their hands out on welfare and food cards. The whole state has gone to pot and now everyone dirt bag from there has crossed over to Idaho. Has anyone seen Hollywood Blvd. It's a disgrace! You can't even walk without tripping over a dirt bag. All the crack heads and dirt pickers ruin everything. Let me on that jury. I'll show them what justice is and what they think they're gonna get.

  • MMMMMM posted at 2:08 pm on Fri, Sep 20, 2013.

    MMMMMM Posts: 2721

    KeepinItReal - maybe they will put me on the jury with you!

  • MMMMMM posted at 1:58 pm on Fri, Sep 20, 2013.

    MMMMMM Posts: 2721

    What I saw in the facility where I worked (not K county) was that the deputies did not have a clue about what to do with a suicide watch or safety cell inmate. And, since they had the badges, they wern't willing to take direction. That wouldn't have been so bad, except that most of the jail deputies had NEVER had any training except "on the job" from others who had learned "on the job" also. A suicide that happened in that facility occured because the deputies put a suicidal inmate in a cell where the control deputy could only see about half the cell. The 15 minute checks were rarely done every 15 minutes, more like catch-up every 1 - 2 hours. The suicide watch inmates were given plastic trays that could have been broken and would have been sharp. They were also allowed to shave!!! And given forks and spoons to eat with. One inmate actually attempted suicide twice with razor blades, and almost succeeded the second time! His bed was saturated with blood by the time the deputies noticed there was a problem - he had just looked asleep.

    Sorry to say, but Idaho is quite backward - - - - sue them sue them sue them until they learn their lesson! Maybe an educator should be brought in from California, Why Not., At least there, the deputies may not have been kinder but at least they were better trained.

  • Why Not posted at 11:14 am on Fri, Sep 20, 2013.

    Why Not Posts: 4405

    GIVE ME A...C-A-L-I-F-O-R-N-I-A

  • KeepinItReal posted at 6:26 am on Fri, Sep 20, 2013.

    KeepinItReal Posts: 112

    Oh give me a flip'in break! I hope I get on that jury!

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