Mother of man shot at Lynchburg General in 2016 files $1 lawsuit against Centra
LYNCHBURG, Va. (WSET) -- The mother of a patient shot at Lynchburg General Hospital has filed a suit against Centra Health, executives or previous executives, and four officials that were employed by Centra when her son was shot.
A Centra security guard shot Jonathan Warner four times in the back on January 11, 2016, leaving him paralyzed.
Warner was seeking emergency mental health treatment when the incident occurred.
Surveillance video shows Warner arriving at the hospital's psychiatric emergency facility around 4 a.m. where he waited for treatment for "several hours," according to Warner's mother, Ruth Ann.
Warner attacked security guard, Wes Gillespie and a struggle ensued which led to Warner gaining possession of Gillespie's Taser and after several moments, you see Warner getting shot by Gillespie around 5 a.m. that morning.
Ruth Ann said she was left in the dark for hours, after calling the hospital repeatedly to find out her son's whereabouts and getting no answers.
The case filed Friday by Ruth Ann Warner and the family's attorney, Paul Valois, involves a "group of hospital executives who intentionally conspired and colluded with each other on January 11, 2016 to prevent Ms. Warner from seeing her son Jonathan after he had been shot in the back and paralyzed by a hospital security guard and fought for his life in the intensive care unit of Lynchburg General Hospital," according to the document.
The document alleges that Ruth Ann learned about her son being shot from secondhand reports, instead of hospital staff.
It also alleges that once she arrived at the hospital that morning, officials initially lied to her about Jonathan's status and then prevented her from seeing him.
The document explains that before Ruth Ann was able to see Jonathan, she was forced into a conference room for more than an hour, ignored, and badgered to forgo legal representation with officials trying to convince her that her son was at fault for the shooting.
The lawsuit claims that as a result of the "emotional distress" by these officials, Ruth Ann suffered "excruciating mental anguish."
She is seeking compensatory damages of $1 and injunctive relief to prevent what happened to her from happening to someone else, her attorney said, and to try to reform the system to give a voice to family members and caregivers of mentally ill patients.
Centra has also been named in a $100 million lawsuit, filed in August, for negligence, along with the architecture firm Baskervill as well as the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Baskervill, the architect of Centra's building, is being sued for "negligent design of the construction of the facility" and the Commonwealth of Virginia for "negligence in ensuring Centra had properly licensed the facility."
The state is asking a judge to dismiss the case with prejudice, meaning it can’t be brought back to court.
Centra Health is also asking for the suit against them to be dismissed.
Baskervill responded in court documents saying it denies the company was negligent or that any action or interaction by Baskervill directly or proximately caused Warner's injuries.