BEAUMONT – Following a two week trial, a Jefferson County jury found Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas and a physician were not liable for a man’s purported suicide.
Representing the estate of Christopher Reich, Carolyn and Rock Reich filed suit against Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas on Jan. 13, 2015. Dr. George Groves was later added as a defendant in an amended complaint.
The case was called up for trial on March 4. A not negligent verdict in favor of the defendants was delivered on March 15, court records show.
According to the lawsuit, on Jan. 17, 2014, Carolyn found her son, Christopher, in his bed, bloodied, as he had attempted to kill himself by cutting himself with a box cutter. He was taken to the emergency room at Baptist.
Six months earlier, Christopher had threatened to jump off a bridge and was taken to the same hospital and deemed a suicide risk.
Following the cutting incident, Dr. Groves allegedly gave instructions for Christopher to be discharged “without even conducting a psychiatric examination or talking” to him, the suit alleges.
Shortly after leaving, Carolyn returned to the hospital and pleaded for the care of her son and was again refused.
When Christopher went to bed that night, Carolyn checked on him several times. However, that morning he was gone and his body was later found on Feb. 3, 2014, in the water under Rainbow Bridge, the suit states.
Houston attorney Craig Lewis is representing the plaintiffs.
Judge Justin Sanderson, 60th District Court, is presiding over the case.
Case No. B-196586