TBI Victim Attacked in Mental Health Institute

Suffering a traumatic brain injury affects not only neurological aspects of the body. It can also affect a person’s psychological functioning. Shawn Whittaker, who suffered a traumatic brain injury in 1991 after a drunk driver hit him, went to a mental health facility last month for help with his depression. According to KRDO, security guards at the Colorado Mental Health Institute in Pueblo, Colorado allegedly attacked the patient over a can of soda on July 24, 2011.

The family of Whittaker reported that the patient started yelling at a staff member because he wanted to finish a can of soda he opened earlier in the day. Whittaker’s appearance after the incident indicates some form of fighting, since bruises cover him from head to foot. The staff told Whittaker’s family that the patient punched one of the guards, and that the institute had film of the events. However, the mental health institute has not allowed the family to view the video.

In addition to the injuries sustained in the fight, the family stated that Whittaker waited 12 to 14 hours to get medical attention. Though the family has not filed a lawsuit yet, they want to publicize their story in order to make sure that other families do not have to deal with the pain of not knowing whether to trust the facility that purports to help, not harm.

Metier Law Firm, LLC–Denver injury lawyer