A man has filed a wrongful death suit against the hospital that he alleges provided negligent custodial care to his wife. The man’s lawsuit is intentionally alleged as a negligence claim because of Wisconsin’s recent tort reform. If the case is considered a medical malpractice claim, then it would be subject to that state’s recovery limits and mandatory mediation. If the case is allowed to be pursued as a negligence claim, then recovery will be determined by the amount that a jury decides is adequate to compensate the man for his losses. The man’s wife was a patient in the hospital’s locked behavioral health unit. The day before her death, she was permitted to leave on a five-hour pass. When she returned, the hospital failed to perform a search of the woman. If they had, they would have found the handgun and ammunition that the woman later used to kill herself.
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