Settlement In Hospital Death Leads To Changes That Can Prevent Similar Tragedies


Cincinnati personal injury attorney Don Moore was featured in the September 6, 2012, story above from WXIX-TV, FOX 19, about how the death of a 45-year-old mental health patient led to University Hospital changing the way it handles aggressive patients who receive psychiatric services. Kelly Brinson, who suffered from paranoia, bipolar disorder and delusions, died in 2010 after he was tased and restrained by University of Cincinnati Police inside the hospital. Moore was one of the lawyers who filed a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of Brinson’s family, and the administrators of his estate settled for an undisclosed amount in late August 2012.

After Brinson became “aggressive toward other patients,” according to a UC Hospital report, medical staff ordered emergency medication and isolation. UC Police alleged that Brinson used his casted hand to swing at an officer before entering that room, and WXIX reported that the hospital’s summary sent to the Ohio Department of Mental Health said police then “determined to place the patient under arrest.” As Moore points out in the video, the police sent “a crowd of people in around a person who is paranoid, in a little room, and backed him into a corner.”

“The police were the ones that jumped him in a corner. They were in control at that time, but they also testified that, had the hospital people said ‘stop,’ they would have stopped,” Moore says in the video, noting that the efforts to restrain Brinson did not stop. “You don’t use a strangle hold on them. You don’t have a pile of people on them and then apply tasers.”

While the financial settlement is confidential, the lawyers for Brinson’s estate point out that the “real victory” in this case is the changes made by UC Health that will help prevent a tragedy like this one from ever happening again. As WXIX notes, University Hospital has moved their in-patient psychiatric services to the Deaconess Hospital of Cincinnati, hired their own specially trained non-police security force for such patients and, Moore says, discontinued taser use. Furthermore, WXIX reported that the settlement also creates an advisory panel that includes mental health professionals.

You can find additional information about medical malpractice on our website, and you should know that you may be entitled to compensation if you or a loved one has sustained severe injuries because of neglect of abuse by hospital staff. Contact our firm today to schedule a free consultation or complete the form on this page to let our Cincinnati injury attorneys review your case.

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