East Jefferson General Hospital sued over prisoner’s death

By Louisiana Record reports | Sep 14, 2015

GRETNA – The surviving family members of a man who died in the custody of the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office are suing a local hospital claiming they did not provide appropriate medical care for him before he was jailed.

Tina Suffal, individually and on behalf of deceased patient Eric Christopher Suffal, Sara Echo as the natural tutrix on a minor child, Jade Young as the natural tutrix on a minor child and Jessica Jasper as the natural tutrix on a minor child filed suit against East Jefferson General Hospital Foundation, Jefferson Parish Hospital Service District No. 2, Parish of Jefferson, State of Louisiana and East Jefferson General Hospital in the 24th Judicial District Court on July 9.

The plaintiffs allege on July 10, 2013 Eric Christopher Suffal was admitted to East Jefferson General Hospital after having alleged ingested 52 ounces of rat poison. The plaintiffs contend despite Eric Christopher Suffal having symptoms of poisoning, including headaches, confusion, altered mental status and personality changes, but East Jefferson General Hospital failed to poorly treat him and instead served him into the custody of the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office on July 11, 2013 in whose care he died on July 28, 2013.

Suffal asserts it was clear Eric Christopher Suffal was in need of medical monitoring and psychiatric counseling and should have remained in the care of East Jefferson General Hospital to be stabilized before being turned over to the custody of the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office.

The defendant is accused of refusing necessary medical services, failing to provide appropriate medical screening, failing to provide adequate treatment, failing to to appropriately transfer the patient, improperly transferring a patient and improperly discharging a patient.

An unspecified amount in damages is sought by the plaintiffs.

Suffal is represented by R. Glenn Cater of New Orleans-based Cater & Associates LLC.

The case has been assigned to Division O Judge Danyelle M. Taylor.

Case no. 751-425.

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