SEATTLE — The family of a veteran who committed suicide at the Veterans Affairs hospital in Seattle has settled a lawsuit against the government for $700,000.
The Seattle Times reports the death of 49-year-old Gordon Whitcomb of Federal Way in 2006 helped expose unsafe conditions in the psychiatric ward.
Nurses noted he was suicidal, but the staff didn’t take away the belt he used to hang himself.
A spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Seattle, Emily Langlie, says the government decided to settle because of the cost of litigation.
Whitcomb’s suicide prompted an audit that recommended the hospital replace fixtures like the shower bar Whitcomb used to hang himself. A hospital spokeswoman says those changes have been made.
Information from: The Seattle Times, www.seattletimes.com