Compass Health’s Broadway Campus in Everett. (Sue Misao / Herald file)

Compass Health’s Broadway Campus in Everett. (Sue Misao / Herald file)

Lawsuit blames counselor’s ‘unethical’ relationship for Marysville man’s death

Joshua Klick was referred to a counselor at Compass Health. Two years later he was shot and killed.

MARYSVILLE — In 2018, Joshua Klick was referred to a mental health counselor at Compass Health in Marysville.

What followed was an “unethical and inappropriate” relationship that resulted in his death two years later, a lawsuit Klick’s estate filed this month in Snohomish County Superior Court alleges. Klick was 31 when he died.

The wrongful death lawsuit claims the counselor and Klick, of Marysville, started dating in September 2018. A month later, Klick moved into the counselor’s home with her two young children. By January 2019, he stopped going to therapy. He slipped back into drug abuse.

The counselor stopped working at Compass Health in October 2018, CEO Tom Sebastian said in a statement.

“We extend our deepest sympathies to Mr. Klick’s family, friends and all those affected by this heartbreaking loss,” Sebastian said.

He said Compass Health records “show no indication of inappropriate or unethical behavior” during the counselor’s tenure.

Klick and the counselor’s “tumultuous” relationship was off and on for about 18 months, according to the lawsuit. He continued to need help for opioid use. His brother found a methadone clinic through the Stillaguamish Tribe that looked promising. But Klick’s counselor and romantic partner told him he couldn’t go there because she worked for the tribe. She didn’t want her employer to know about their relationship, the lawsuit states.

In November 2019, Klick was arrested after being accused of biting the counselor at the home they lived in together, according to police.

Then in April 2020, Klick moved out of the counselor’s home. In one of his last nights at the home, he showed her a silver gun, according to an Arlington detective’s report. She told him it scared her. Klick later told her he gave the gun to someone else for “safekeeping” because he didn’t trust himself not to hurt her.

Later that month, her old high school classmate showed up from Colorado. He brought two guns, the lawsuit claims.

Days later, on May 4, Klick texted his former girlfriend dozens of times, according to the detective’s report.

“Ok I am so so sorry,” he reportedly wrote in one text, adding “Now u (can) say I broke into the house in shear terror u killed me. Okay. I accept.”

Klick reportedly showed up at her Arlington home and got in by climbing up the back deck. He and the Colorado man fought.

The Colorado man fired a warning shot into the floor with a Smith & Wesson pistol, according to an Arlington police report. He reported Klick came at him with a baking sheet, so he fired again, this time into Klick’s chest.

Over three weeks later, on May 28, Klick died of his injuries. The Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed the manner of death was homicide. Prosecutors declined to file charges because they couldn’t prove “beyond a reasonable doubt, that (the Colorado man) did not act reasonably in self-defense.”

Last year, the state Department of Health found the counselor, now 39, violated sexual misconduct rules in her relationship with Klick. Her counselor’s license was suspended for three years. To get reinstated, she has to take an ethics course. Then she would be on probation for five years.

The lawsuit blames Compass Health, the counselor and the Colorado man, now 42, for Klick’s death. Seattle attorney Sarah Perez represents Klick’s estate.

The claim alleges assault by the Colorado man as well as negligence by both the counselor and Compass Health. It argues Compass Health “failed to properly train and supervise” the counselor.

“Compass Health bears responsibility and duty to exercise reasonable care in the hiring, training, and supervision of their agents and employees,” the lawsuit reads. “This duty includes the duty and responsibility to adequately train and hold accountable staff and its other agents to properly monitor and care for their mentally ill patients.”

Jake Goldstein-Street: 425-339-3439; jake.goldstein-street@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @GoldsteinStreet.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Everett
Man shot at Everett apartment

The man in his 30s was shot Sunday night. No arrests had been made.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Lake Stevens in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Motorcyclist identified in fatal crash near Lake Stevens

Anthony Palko, 33, died Monday night after colliding with a passenger car. The juveniles in the car were taken to the hospital.

Marysville
Police: Marysville man shot sword-wielding roommate in self-defense

The roommates were arguing over eBay sales, according to police. Then one of them allegedly brandished a two-foot sword.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Lake Stevens in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Everett boy, 12, identified as Davies Beach drowning victim

Malachi Bell was one of three swimmers in distress Sunday in Lake Stevens. He did not survive.

Everett
Port of Everett hosting annual open house after pandemic hiatus

Also, Rustic Cork Wine Bar plans to open a second shop at Fisherman’s Harbor — the latest addition to the port’s “wine walk.”

Arlington Public Works employees use The Big Sidewalk Sucker to lift a concrete panel from the sidewalk. The device saves the city some money and time to level ground below the concrete. (Arlington Public Works)
This thing sucks and helps repair sidewalks in Arlington

Public works crews can remove heavy concrete panels from sidewalks, so the ground underneath can be restored.

New LGI Homes on Thursday, May 12, 2022 in Sultan, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Red-hot housing market cools, a bit, in Snohomish County

The amount of housing inventory is rising. Demand is slowing. Higher mortgage rates are a cause.

John McKeon stands in front of a mobile headquarters vehicle while discussing the funding needs of Snohomish County Volunteer Search and Rescue on Wednesday, June 22, 2022, at the search and rescue headquarters in Snohomish, Washington. McKeon said a priority for the group is to find money for new covered parking for a number of vehicles that do not have a garage to be parked in. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Snohomish County Volunteer Search and Rescue wants rescuing

They’re asking for nearly $1 million in federal recovery dollars, but funding has been hard to come by.

Mike Kersey with Aiya Moore, daughter of Christina Anderson, right, talk about the condition of Nick’s Place in Everett, Washington on June 17, 2022.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
‘We’re all good people when we get clean and sober’

Who has fentanyl taken from us? A messenger who saved lives. A “street mom.” A grandpa who loved his grandkids “999 trillion times.”

Most Read