$3.5 Million Jury Verdict for Patient Death Where Medical Center Failed to Notify Patient’s Emergency Contact Before Discharge

David Scheer, the father of Matthew Scheer, drove his son to the emergency room at Grand Strand Regional Medical Center because David noticed that his son had added some disturbing posts on social media. Matthew was 26 at the time. He was also suffering from auditory and visual hallucinations. Matthew was diagnosed as having suffered a break from reality and was admitted to the hospital when he arrived.

As an inpatient, Matthew was seen by two hospitalists. While at this facility, Matthew became agitated, accused the nurses of being devil worshippers, and told staff that he wished to leave the facility.

The second attending hospitalist did not contact David Scheer, Matthew’s father, about his son’s intentions. He allowed Matthew to leave the hospital against medical advice during an Atlantic coast hurricane. Matthew disappeared and reportedly drowned in the Atlantic Ocean. His death certificate listed his death as a suicide. He is survived by his parents and sibling.

David Scheer, on behalf of his son’s estate, sued Southern Myrtle Inpatient Services, which employed the two hospitalists who attended to Matthew during his hospitalization.

David alleged liability for the second hospitalist’s choosing not to call him, as his son’s emergency contact, before releasing Matthew, who did not have the mental capacity to sign himself out of the hospital.

The Scheer lawsuit also alleged that the defendant medical facility decided not to properly train its physicians on HIPAA compliance, specifically the privacy rule in 45 C.F.R. ¶ 164.512(j), which would have compelled the medical providers to contact David about his son’s psychotic mental state.

The Scheer family also sued the hospital, maintaining that it chose not to implement a 48-hour hold on Matthew and to provide an adequate psychiatric consultation. \Before trial, the hospital settled for $600,000.

The jury’s verdict was more than $3.5 million.

The attorneys successfully representing the Scheer family in this tragic lawsuit were Francis “Brink” Hinson IV and William R. Padget.

At trial, the Scheer family attorneys presented a hospitalist medicine expert.

Scheer v. S. Myrtle Inpatient Services, LLC, No. 2017 CP 2601571 (S.C. Ct. Com. Pl. Horry County, June 6, 2019).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling wrongful death lawsuits, medical malpractice cases, hospital negligence lawsuits, physician negligence cases, birth trauma injury lawsuits and nursing home injury cases for individuals, families and loved ones who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of a medical provider for more than 40 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Elmhurst, Franklin Park, Berwyn, Cicero, Oak Brook, Glendale Heights, Lake Zurich, Franklin Park, Des Plaines, Elk Grove Village, Hoffman Estates, Chicago (Edison Park, Uptown, Edgewater, Ravenswood, Lakeview, North Center, Portage Park, Belmont Cragin, Humboldt Park, Pilsen, Little Village, McKinley Park, Gage Park, South Side, Woodlawn, Chatham, Beverly, Pullman), Hickory Hills, Chicago Ridge, Palos Heights, Alsip, Dolton, Midlothian and Oak Park, Ill.

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