The U.S. Supreme Court refused to rule on an appeal by Providence Hospital, Southfield, Mich., to throw out a case in which a family is seeking to hold the 459-bed hospital responsible for the murder of their daughter in 2002 by the woman's estranged husband, a discharged, mentally unstable patient.
Supreme Court won't weigh in
The lawsuit alleges that Providence violated the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act by releasing Christopher Howard, a patient who a hospital psychiatrist recommended be put on suicide watch and moved to the facility's secure psychiatric ward (Dec. 21/28, 2009, p. 6). The lawsuit alleges that Providence discharged Howard following several days of treatment after learning his insurance would not cover recommended care. The Supreme Court ruling upheld the decision of a lower court to allow the lawsuit to proceed. A Providence spokeswoman declined to comment on the case.
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