Wrongful Death at Florida Psychiatric Hospital Leaves Too Many Questions Unanswered
One man’s unexplained death at a Florida psychiatric facility has garnered news headlines of late due to the mysteriousness of the incident and the unwillingness of officials and agencies linked to it to provide both the man’s family and the public with the answers they deserve. The man—Reginald Schroat—is the second known individual to recently die under questionable circumstances at a Florida-run facility for the disabled.
On October 12, surveillance videos reportedly captured a staff member shoving Schroat into his room. Two other employees then reportedly followed and remained in the room for some time. The video then shows these employees leaving several minutes later, followed by Schroat calling for help, indicating that he could no longer move his legs. Schroat died some days later after suffering from a broken neck.
Lack of Transparency & Signs of Misconduct
Still, it is impossible to say what, exactly, happened to Schroat, as the state agencies and local police departments involved refuse to release information or answer questions. While the state Agency for Persons with Disabilities has released a handful of reports concerning the death, because the agency obscured the dates regarding Schroat’s injury and death before handing over that information, it is impossible to put together an accurate time frame, which is necessary in order to conduct a proper investigation of what happened in cases like these. The Department of Children and Families—the agency investigating Schroat’s death—has only confirmed that it started its investigation more than two weeks after Schroat broke his neck; even though state law requires that these types of investigations begin within 24 hours of an abuse report being filed. Meanwhile, according to reports, the employees involved have been placed on administrative leave and one has even resigned.
Behavior like this from a facility that was caught engaging in suspicious behavior before one of its residents died as a result of questionable circumstances is absolutely unacceptable. It is crucial for these facilities to be transparent with law enforcement, family members, and the public; in part so that they do not repeat these mistakes with another resident. Schroat’s family was not informed that Schroat had been injured until eight days after the incident. At that time, they informed the family that he had fall in the shower and “broke his vertebrae.” However, while Schroat had slipped in the shower, the slip and fall had occurred at least five days before his neck was broken. They also did not relay additional injuries or the fact that he was paralyzed as a result.
Contact Our Florida Wrongful Death Attorneys
If you have lost a loved one due to negligent or intentional conduct, contact the Baez Law Firm and find out what we can do for you. We have helped a number of families throughout Miami, Orlando, Tampa, and surrounding areas fight to find justice after losing a loved one.