A family, whose son was able to commit suicide while he was supposed to be under close observation, has filed a $12.5 million wrongful death and breach of privacy suit against William Osler Health System and members of its staff.
On June 26 last year, 20-year-old Prashant Tiwari of Brampton took his own life, while he was supposed to be under close staff supervision in the psychiatric unit of Brampton Civic, one of William Osler’s two hospitals. Although he was to be checked by staff every 15 minutes, Prashant was left unattended for over two and a half hours. His body was found later in the hospital washroom.
“Hospitals are considered safe havens for those at risk,” said Michael Smitiuch, of Smitiuch Injury Law PC, the lawyer representing the Tiwari family. “This family is raising questions and awareness about obvious short comings in the care of high-risk patients.”
Smitiuch alleges in his statement of claim that the hospital and staff were negligent, by failing to properly supervise Tiwari. It’s also alleged that after his death, staff accessed Tiwari’s personal information, without authorization.
“This is a tragic case that puts the focus on a much wider problem,” added Smitiuch. “Far more attention needs to be given to protect vulnerable people, like Prashant, whose lives depend on a higher standard of hospital care.”
The provincial coroner’s office refused to order an inquest into Prashant Tiwari’s death. The Tiwari family has asked that it reconsider.
A W5 segment shows as many as 300 suicide deaths in Canadian hospitals over the past decade, by patients who were supposed to be on strict watch. According to W5, 98 of those cases took place in Ontario.
These allegations have not been proven in court and no statement of defence has been filed as yet.