Articles Posted in Suicide

In an unfortunate suicide by Keith Stanphill, a lawsuit was brought by Zachary Stanphill against a social worker, Lori Ortberg, and the hospital with which she was affiliated. She saw Keith Stanphill at Rockford Memorial Hospital just nine days before his suicide. Ortberg is a licensed clinical social worker.

During the jury instruction conference, the defendants requested and were granted leave to submit to the jury a special interrogatory. The special interrogatory followed the format approved by the Illinois Appellate Court in Garcia v. Seneca Nursing Home, 2011 IL App (1st) 103085.

The special interrogatory asked: “Was it reasonably foreseeable to Lori Ortberg on Sept. 30, 2005 that Keith Stanphill would commit suicide on or before Oct. 9, 2005?”
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A 16-year-old girl was incarcerated at a county juvenile detention center.She had a history of chronic depression and other mental health issues, was noted to be irritable and at risk for self-injurious behavior and suicide.

During her approximately two-month stay, this young woman was placed on suicide watch many times. Medications included Abilify, which was prescribed to help with her mood and anxiety.

This detainee experienced chest pains and increased anxiety. She asked the probation officer if she could see a mental health expert. The next day she complained to a physician that the Abilify was not working and that she was experiencing panic attacks. The doctor referred the young woman to a psychiatrist. Several hours later however, the woman barricaded herself in her room and hanged herself with a bedsheet. She is survived by her parents.

On May 21, 2015, the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed a general rule as a matter of law with respect to suicide. Maria Turcios brought a wrongful death lawsuit based on her husband’s suicide. The lawsuit alleged that it was caused by the defendant’s intentional infliction of emotional distress.

The lawsuit was filed against DeBruler Company as the agent for Colonial Park Apartments. Her husband was Nelsyn Caceras, who was also known as Ricardo Ortiz. The plaintiff alleged that she and her family had suffered through many efforts by the defendant apartment complex to throw the family out of their apartment stating that the building was being demolished. In fact, the apartment building was torn down.

The Supreme Court reviewed de novo the trial judge’s grant of the defendant’s motion to dismiss plaintiff’s wrongful death and survival claims. The Illinois Appellate Court vacated the order and remanded the case. The Supreme Court reversed and reinstated the dismissal order.

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