Poor Psychiatric Care Blamed for Killing

Our Atlanta medical malpractice lawyers read about a sad case of an elderly couple failed by the psychiatric care system at a Georgia hospital. The tragic, and possibly avoidable, case involves Alex Blatt, a 70 year old who killed his wife of 40 years, Eva Blatt, in a psychotic episode in 2012.

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Mr. Blatt went to a Kaiser facility in November 2011 with psychosis, paranoia, delusions, impaired judgment, physical aggression, loose association, and racing thoughts. Staff noticed he was specifically worried about his wife. He was committed to Peachford psychiatric hospital from November 28 to December 13. During his stay, he was noted to be erratic and combative with staff. At some points he refused to remain clothed. A doctor, not party to the lawsuit, recommended a CT scan for Mr. Blatt, which was never performed. He remained agitated and easily confused. When Mrs. Blatt was told he would be discharged, she called the psychiatric hospital and shared her fears about his mental state due to the fact that he was still saying crazy things. The hospital assured her that he would not be released if he was a danger. The next day they released him with several prescriptions. A week later, he went to a Kaiser facility again because of pain in his feet and one of his prescriptions was reduced. That prescription, for Haldol, was cancelled by a Kaiser doctor, Dr. Phu Thai, in January 2012, as was another drug, and neither were replaced with another medication. In February, another doctor, Dr. Rick Stallings, stated no follow up was needed for three months for Mr. Blatt. Then on March 19, 2012, Mr. Blatt had a psychotic episode and killed Mrs. Blatt and tried to kill himself by slitting his wrists. He is currently in Gwinnett County Jail for murder awaiting his trial.

Mr. Blatt and his brother-in-law, Murray Deutsch, have filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Georgia, Inc, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc, the Southeast Permanente Medical Group, Inc, and the two doctors, Dr. Phu Thai and Dr. Stallings. They claim Mr. Blatt had the fatal psychotic episode due to the lack of follow up and lack of replacement medicine for his condition. The lawsuit claims, “Mr. Blatt now suffers from severe guilt, anguish, and emotional pain and suffering as a result of his actions while in a severely psychotic state.” Mr. Blatt and Mr. Deutsch are seeking punitive damages from a jury trial on their medical malpractice case.

Atlanta Medical Malpractice Attorneys

If you or a loved one has been hurt by a negligent medical professional, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer. Medical malpractice cases are often complicated and require expert testimony. To discuss the specifics of your case and any steps to move forward in legal avenues to get any needed compensation to help your family through the difficult time, contact the Law Office of Sammons & Carpenter as soon as possible at 404-814-8948, or fill out our confidential online case evaluation form for a free consultation today.

Photo Credit: Life Mental Health via Compfight cc

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