NEW ORLEANS – The brother and sister of a deceased Orleans Parish Prison prisoner are suing LSU Interim Public Hospital after their brother, a patient with various psychiatric problems and prior suicide attempts, was released back to prison following a manic episode, soon after which he strangled himself to death.
Margaret Goetzee Nagle and John Eric Goetzee, individually and on behalf of their deceased brother William Wesley Goetzee, filed suit against the LSU Health Sciences Center; LSU Health Care Services; LSU Public Interim Hospital; Mark Townsend M.D.; William "Cole" Claiborne M.D.; Nicole Giambrone M.D.; Maneesh Gupta M.D and Danielle Levy M.D in the Orleans Parish Civil District Court on March 19, 2015.
The plaintiffs assert that on Aug. 3, 2011, their brother was admitted to the Interim LSU facility. At said time, he had been experiencing manic episodes, hallucinations, paranoia and suicidal ideation. He had also been recently tasered in the chest and was experiencing chest pain. Along with these symptoms, he also exhibited a history of suicide attempts in the preceding days as well as a past history of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. The defendant doctors in charge of Nagle's care are accused of failing to provide Goetzee with proper care and ensuring that he was not released in an unstable condition. At the time of his discharge, the plaintiffs claim that Goetzee was being treated with anti-anxiety medications which were essential to his ongoing care and safety. The plaintiffs also claim that the Orleans Parish prison was not a suitable facility into which to release Goetzee and that the physicians' negligence led to their brother's subsequent suicide.
The defendants are accused of failing to properly treat and monitor the patient, failing to release the patient in a stable condition, failing to properly psychologically screen the patient prior to release, and failing to provide proper follow-up care. The plaintiffs claim that these incidents of negligence, among others, led to their brother's untimely death on Aug. 7, 2011.
The plaintiffs seek an unspecified amount in damages for the wrongful death of their brother, his mental and physical pain and suffering and their grief as a result of his death.
The plaintiffs are represented by R. Glenn Cater and Amanda C. Graeber of New Orleans-based Cater & Associates LLC.
This case has been assigned to Division A Judge Tiffany G. Chase.
Case no. 2015-02535.