Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed Against Eastern State Hospital - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed Against Eastern State Hospital

Posted: Updated:
Lawyers for Duane Charley filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Eastern State Hospital Friday Lawyers for Duane Charley filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Eastern State Hospital Friday
SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. -

Nearly one year ago, Eastern State Hospital patient Duane Charley was found beaten and strangled to death inside the hospital. Friday, lawyers for the estate of Duane Charley filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Eastern State Hospital. Amber Roberts was arrested and charged in the murder. She is scheduled for another court appearance in January. 

Below is the press release sent to KHQ by the lawyers for the Charley estate. You can read more documents by clicking on the link below the picture to the right of this story. 

Press Release Sent By The Lawyers For The Duane Charley Estate: 

On Friday, November 15, 2013, the Estate of Duane E. Charley filed a lawsuit against Eastern State Hospital ("Eastern"), and the former Director of Eastern, among others, alleging claims for wrongful death and civil rights violations. The lawsuit stems from the highly-publicized murder that occurred at Eastern nearly one year ago. Duane Charley was a patient at Eastern when he was found beaten and strangled to death with a cord in the early morning hours of November 20, 2012, after another patient told staff that she had killed someone.

In the lawsuit filed in US District Court for the Eastern District of Washington, the Estate claims the death was the result of Eastern's deficient policies and practices, among other failures, that allowed patients to freely enter other patients' rooms at all times of the day and night, and that failed to restrict patients' access to cords and other strangulation devices.

The lawsuit claims that the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals had warned Eastern in 2006, and again in 2009, about these issues and advised them to change their practices to better protect their patients. The lawsuit alleges that the perpetrator was allowed to enter Mr. Charley's room with the cord and savagely attack him without detection from hospital staff stationed on the same floor. The attack is alleged to have lasted several minutes before Mr. Charley died.

The lawsuit further alleges that the policies and practices that allowed the murder remained unchanged even after Mr. Charley's 2012 death and were only corrected following an unannounced inspection and a preliminary denial of continued accreditation for Eastern. In particular, the unannounced inspection concluded that the presence of readily-accessible ligature items, such as cords presented an "obvious risk," and "contributed to an unsafe unit where a death occurred in November 2012 by strangulation." The report states that even the leadership of Eastern collectively agreed that the hospital "was not safe."

The lawsuit seeks unspecified monetary compensation, punitive damages to deter future incidents, and attorney's fees. The Estate is represented by Spokane attorneys Kelly E. Konkright and Michael D. Franklin of the law firm Lukins & Annis, P.S. Attorney Mike Franklin stated, "Eastern State Hospital has shown itself unwilling to voluntarily correct the many problems posed by its lax policies towards patient safety and supervision. In fact, it took the near loss of hospital accreditation and millions of state and federal dollars before Eastern would even begin to take measures to remove some of the most obvious risks to patient safety." Attorney Kelly Konkright adds,"We hope the lawsuit results in a careful overview of Eastern's policies and a change in the ‘business as usual' attitude that has plagued the hospital over the last several years."


 

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • 44 Riverside homes destroyed or damaged in storm

    44 Riverside homes destroyed or damaged in storm

    Thursday, July 24 2014 3:46 PM EDT2014-07-24 19:46:53 GMT
    RIVERSIDE, Wash. - Many families were still at the Red Cross Shelter set up at Riverside High School in Riverside this morning.An afternoon storm destroyed or damaged 44 of their homes and knocked down close to 100 trees in Riverside Village Mobile Home Park.Many residents said the storm looked like a tornado as it swept through their neighborhood.>>
    RIVERSIDE, Wash. - Many families were still at the Red Cross Shelter set up at Riverside High School in Riverside this morning.An afternoon storm destroyed or damaged 44 of their homes and knocked down close to 100 trees in Riverside Village Mobile Home Park.Many residents said the storm looked like a tornado as it swept through their neighborhood.>>
  • 10 Cheapest Houses For Sale In Spokane

    10 Cheapest Houses For Sale In Spokane

    Wednesday, November 27 2013 2:35 AM EST2013-11-27 07:35:08 GMT
    Whether you are in the market for an affordable place to live or are in the business of flipping houses, here are the 10 cheapest homes for sale in Spokane according to AllSpokaneHomes.com.>>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Whether you are in the market for an affordable place to live or are in the business of flipping houses, here are the 10 cheapest homes for sale in Spokane according to AllSpokaneHomes.com. Yes, they all need some work and some need a lot more than others, but when your mortgage payment is around the $200/month range there's at least something to stay positive about.>>
  • Person injured by falling tree branches outside Spokane courthouse

    Person injured by falling tree branches outside Spokane courthouse

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 9:35 PM EDT2014-07-24 01:35:37 GMT
    One person was injured when strong winds caused tree branches to fall to the ground outside the Spokane County Courthouse in Wednesday afternoon.Fire crews and police officers told KHQ the person who was hit by the branches was quickly taken to the hospital.>>
    One person was injured when strong winds caused tree branches to fall to the ground outside the Spokane County Courthouse in Wednesday afternoon.Fire crews and police officers told KHQ the person who was hit by the branches was quickly taken to the hospital.>>
  • Top Stories from KHQTop StoriesMore>>

  • PHOTOS: Severe storm causes power outages, damage to homes

    PHOTOS: Severe storm causes power outages, damage to homes

    Thursday, July 24 2014 4:04 PM EDT2014-07-24 20:04:59 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - A storm seemed to leave just as fast as it arrived Wednesday in Spokane. High winds blew over trees and utility lines, causing widespread power outages and some severe property damage. INSIDE>>>| Power Outages | PHOTOS |>>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - A storm seemed to leave just as fast as it arrived Wednesday in Spokane. High winds blew over trees and utility lines, causing widespread power outages and some severe property damage. INSIDE>>>| Power Outages | PHOTOS |>>
  • Guard, suspect wounded in Seattle bank shooting

    Guard, suspect wounded in Seattle bank shooting

    Thursday, July 24 2014 3:40 PM EDT2014-07-24 19:40:08 GMT
    SEATTLE (AP) - Harborview Medical Center says two men wounded in a shooting at a Seattle bank are in critical condition. Police say a 46-year-old security guard and a 30-year-old suspect were both shot with the guard's gun in a struggle about 11 a.m.>>
    SEATTLE (AP) - Harborview Medical Center says two men wounded in a shooting at a Seattle bank are in critical condition. Police say a 46-year-old security guard and a 30-year-old suspect were both shot with the guard's gun in a struggle about 11 a.m.
    >>
  • Action Cam: Lavender season at 'Fleur de Provence'

    Action Cam: Lavender season at 'Fleur de Provence'

    Thursday, July 24 2014 12:49 PM EDT2014-07-24 16:49:45 GMT
    KHQ.COM - Nestled at the base of the beautiful Green Bluff farming community just north of Spokane, Fleur de Provence Lavender Farm overlooks the ever-changing wheat fields of Peone Prairie. While miles away from our namesake in Provence, France, a visit to our farm provides a similar experience.>>
    KHQ.COM - Nestled at the base of the beautiful Green Bluff farming community just north of Spokane, Fleur de Provence Lavender Farm overlooks the ever-changing wheat fields of Peone Prairie. While miles away from our namesake in Provence, France, a visit to our farm provides a similar experience.
    >>