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Widow sues hospital after mental patient shoots deputy

The widow of a sheriff’s deputy is suing a mental hospital for its role in the shooting death of her husband. In her lawsuit, she files a third party medical malpractice claim, alleging that the shooter, a man involuntarily committed in 2004, suffered medical malpractice at the hands of the mental hospital and its doctors. In turn, it was the shooter who suffered the medical malpractice that ultimately led to the death of her husband, a sheriff’s deputy who was responding to a call at the 74 year old shooter’s home. Lawyers for the widow acknowledge that their case is on shaky legal ground, as it would set precedent in Florida if it even made it to trial. But lawyers for the widow are confident and claim that the mental hospital had a duty to warn law enforcement officers and other first responders about the mental status of the shooter. Lawyers for the mental hospital respond that allowing the case to go to trial would be an unprecedented extension of a mental health professional’s duties.

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