St. Paul’s Hospital has been found liable for a brain injury suffered by a mentally ill patient.
Michael Paur suffered a severe brain injury when he attempted suicide four years ago by hanging in the hospital bathroom.
Paur was intoxicated when he was placed in the Comox Unit for monitoring overnight so he could sober up.
In a ruling released Tuesday, a BC Supreme Court judge called St. Paul’s was negligent because it had no policies for nursing staff to ensure that such patients were not permitted to be unmonitored in an unsafe locked bathroom for more than five minutes.
“I hope that all hospitals consider what the judge said with respect to the steps that a reasonably prudent hospital should be taking, to take care of suicidal patients,” says lawyer Barbara Webster-Evans.
Paur has been awarded $360,000, but Webster-Evans says he could receive upwards of a million in total to cover costs for the rest of his life.
His mother has been awarded $30,000 in trust for taking care of him.
Providence Health says its legal team is reviewing the decision, so cannot comment.
But a spokesperson says there is a new unit there now with better safety measures including suicide-proof bathrooms, security cameras, and additional staff.