In April a man who had checked into a mental health facility in Manatee County died by suicide after not being checked on for about nine hours; that has led to a lawsuit against the facility, known as Centerstone. WMNF News interviewed Mindy Miller, an attorney with Swope Rodante, representing the mother of Duane Riddick.
“Mr. Riddick was a 49-year-old gentleman who was a nurse and lived in North Carolina. He had family in Bradenton, Florida. He was going through a bad month. He had a bad break-up with his girlfriend and some issues from work. He came down [to Florida] with his mother, whom he lived with and took care of. He and his Mom came down to Florida for a family reunion. As he was here he knew he was just not himself. He was not feeling okay at all and knew he needed help.
“So, he voluntarily checked himself into Centerstone and told the people there that he was having suicidal ideation and would they treat him and would they protect him? And Centerstone said, ‘yes,’ and made promises to him and to his mother that they would put in place their suicide protocol and watch him every 15 minutes. His activities would be observed and logged every 15 minutes by staff persons at Centerstone. In fact, though, we know that did not happen. He took his own life.
“The surveillance at Centerstone confirmed that he was seen at 9:30 p.m. on Monday (April 2, 2018) and no one checked in on him again for over 9 hours. He was found dead in his bathroom at 7:30 the next morning. He had hung himself with sheets that Centerstone had provided and did not take out of his room, even though they should have, according to protocol.”
WMNF News requested an interview with Centerstone, we did not receive a response by air time.