Stephen M. O'Brien III, PLLC - Personal Injury Attorneys
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Failure to diagnose mental health conditions is a serious problem

When it comes to mental illnesses, it can often be difficult for professionals to properly diagnose the correct illness so they can prescribe the proper treatment. Despite the difficulty for the medical professionals, it is essential that a proper diagnosis be made because the failure to diagnose a mental illness properly can have dire consequences. Kentucky residents who have a family member with a mental illness might be interested in a recent lawsuit filed in another state that puts the focus on the importance of properly diagnosing mental illnesses.

The lawsuit was filed by the family of a man who hanged himself in his apartment. The family members of the man allege that their son’s suicide was caused by two mental health doctors failing to properly diagnose, monitor and treat their son. They have filed a $2 million medical malpractice lawsuit against those two doctors and the firms where the doctors work.

A diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder was made in this case, which wasn’t the proper diagnosis for their son, according to the parents’ allegations. They say that their son had an addiction that was being fed by the doctors treating him. The deceased man’s father says he would tell his son that he didn’t need the ADHD medications, but his son asserted that the doctors prescribed it so he needed it.

Eventually, one of the doctors named in the lawsuit agreed to stop prescribing Adderall to the man, but the other doctor continued to prescribe it and even increased the dosage. Between the doctors not communicating about the man’s addiction so it would be flagged and the alleged failure to diagnose, the family asserts that the man’s death is on the hands of the doctors.

This family is having to live with their son’s suicide, which they believe was caused by the improper care of mental health professionals. Anyone who has dealt with a similar situation might have the right to seek compensation, just as this family has opted to do.

Source:, “Lawsuit puts scrutiny on ADHD diagnoses” Elizabeth Simpson, May. 12, 2014

O'Brien Batten & Kirtley, PLLC is located in Lexington, KY and serves clients in and around Lexington, Keene, Nicholasville, Versailles, Midway, Georgetown, Wilmore, Paris, Bourbon County, Fayette County, Jessamine County, Scott County and Woodford County.

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