A family in Arkansas blames a rehab program for rooming their father with a schizophrenic who stabbed him 139 times and slashed his throat.
The Estate of Virgil Brown Jr. sued Gain Inc., a nonprofit, its insurer Arch Insurance Co., and Gain employees Darrell Davis and Dr. Leslie Smith, in Pulaski County Court. Gain provides drug, alcohol and mental disease rehabilitation services. It leased a home from a friend of one of its employees for Brown and two other men to live in during treatment, the family claims. One of those men, Kenneth Ray McFadden Jr., was a schizophrenic with a history of violence, the family says.
Brown's surviving children, brothers and sisters claim that Gain leased and rented the house "without involvement or directions from the Pulaski County Circuit Court." The family claims the rehab center "should have clearly foreseen the danger Virgil Brown Jr. was exposed to by living with Kenneth Ray McFadden, Jr." based on McFadden's history of violent crimes and "deteriorating mental condition."
McFadden stabbed Brown to death on Nov. 30, 2011, according to the lawsuit.
The family claims "That Kenneth Ray McFadden, Jr. kicked in the door leading to the room of Virgil Brown, Jr., on Nov. 16, 2011, a couple of weeks before he stabbed him to death and there is evidence in this case that Kenneth Ray McFadden, Jr. was hallucinating that Virgil Brown, Jr. intended to burn him alive, set fire to his feet or was being held as a hostage in his room before he killed Virgil Brown, Jr., on Nov. 30, 2011."
After the Nov. 16 incident, Gain should immediately have removed McFadden from the home, but it left him unsupervised and unmonitored, the family says. They claim that Gain's therapists, cases workers and psychiatrist knew McFadden "posed a serious threat to Brown."
Gain's contract with the state required it to take immediate action and alert the state or the court "when a patient became a present danger to others or property," but it did not do this, the family says.
Brown's 139 wounds included 10 to his head and 20 to each his neck and chest, according to the complaint.
"Brown's stab and cutting wounds indicate a lack of struggle on his part and he had multiple defense-type wounds involving his extremities. The evidence in this case is that Brown died a horrendously violent and painful death because of the gross negligence and wrongful conduct of the defendants," his family says.
Brown was seeking treatment for drug and alcohol addiction, McFadden for paranoid schizophrenia or undifferentiated schizophrenia, according to the complaint.
McFadden was acquitted of murder in September because a judge found him not competent due to mental disease, the complaint states.
Judge Barry Sims ordered him back to the Arkansas State Hospital, where he was involuntarily committed for treatment of his schizophrenia.
Brown's family seeks compensatory and punitive damages for wrongful death and gross negligence. They are represented by Bennie O'Neil of Little Rock.
Source: Courthouse News Service
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