Taylor Manor Hospital sued over boy's suicide there in '98

Father says 13-year-old warranted closer watch

March 23, 2000|By Del Quentin Wilber | Del Quentin Wilber,SUN STAFF

A Howard County man is suing Taylor Manor Hospital in Ellicott City, accusing hospital officials of being negligent and allowing his 13-year-old son to commit suicide while a patient there in 1998.

James E. Maszczenski filed suit in Howard County Circuit Court last week, saying that the hospital should have had his son, Joshua, under suicide watch after he was admitted Sept. 2.

Two days later, Joshua killed himself by putting his belt around his neck and attaching it to the bathroom doorknob, the suit states.

FOR THE RECORD - An article in the Howard County edition of The Sun on Thursday about a lawsuit filed against Taylor Manor Hospital incorrectly reported where the man who filed the suit lives. James E. Maszczenski resides in White Marsh. The Sun regrets the error.

Hospital officials should have known that Joshua "was at a very high risk for taking his own life," the suit says, and should have removed the belt.

Joshua had a history of depression and was "defiant" at home and in the community, the suit says. Those conditions were "exacerbated by substance use/abuse to include marijuana, alcohol, PCP and mushrooms," the suit says.

According to the suit, the boy also suffered from bipolar disorder.

The father's lawyer, John E. Harris, and the hospital's lawyer, Ronald L. Spahn, declined to comment.

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