Escaped psychiatric patient’s death lands in Florida Supreme Court

The death of an escaped psychiatric patient will be explored by the Florida Supreme Court.

Health News Florida reports Monday that state’s high court will review the case of the woman who died after escaping from Shands Vista psychiatric hospital. Ashley Lawson died when struck by a vehicle on Interstate 75 in Alachua County.

iy6870 tallahassee fl florida supreme court
Florida Supreme Court will hear case centered on escaped patient from psychiatric hospital.

Lawson escaped from the hospital in January 2013 after taking an employee’s keys and badge and was hit by a truck after going onto Interstate 75 in Alachua County, according to court documents and news reports.

The woman’s estate filed a negligence suit. The hospital argues that the case should be handled as an allegation of medical malpractice. It is a technical defense because in medical-malpractices cases the plaintiff must give pre-suit notice.

Thus, this is really an effort to dismiss the lawsuit.

The 1st District Court of Appeal agreed with the hospital’s argument, prompting the estate to seek a Supreme Court ruling that the case is about negligence instead of medical malpractice.

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