The Mississippi Supreme Court ruled the family of a Jackson County man can move forward with a wrongful death lawsuit against Singing River Health System SRHS.
The family of Randy Vermilyea sued SRHS and emergency room personnel for a breach of the standard of care. They say personnel failed to do a mental evaluation before discharging Vermilyea from the emergency room after a suicide attempt.
Vermilyea jumped to his death from the Escatawpa River Bridge on Highway 613 in Moss Point on October 12, 2014.
According to the court documents, he committed suicide within minutes of his discharge from Singing River Hospital after being brought to the emergency room after Jackson County Sheriff’s deputies had to talk him off the Pascagoula River Bridge where he was standing on the ledge.
Deputies say they spent 90 minutes trying to talk him off the bridge.
The court documents report Vermilyea was released on his own after a few hours in the ER. The suit says he called his daughter to pick him up. A few minutes later Vermilyea jumped to his death from a bridge on Highway 613 in Moss Point.
Singing River Health System filed a motion to dismiss the family’s lawsuit, but the judge denied that motion and SRHS appealed that decision.
In its ruling, the Supreme Court majority said the family has presented a claim of medical negligence that should be heard in Jackson County Court.
When asked for a response from SRHS, a spokesperson replied that they had no comment on the matter.