Creigh Deeds Plans Legal Action Against Local Mental Health Services After Son's Suicide

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Virginia State Sen. Creigh Deeds (D) has notified local counties and cities that he intends to sue them for negligence for the treatment of his son, who stabbed his father and killed himself in November, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported on Thursday.

Austin C. “Gus” Deeds, 24, had undergone a mental health evaluation while under an emergency order in November, but officials reportedly had to release him, because no beds were available before the order expired. Space was available at three nearby hospitals, but they were reportedly never contacted.

The notice, served by Deeds' attorney to the counties of Rockbridge and Bath and the cities of Lexington and Buena Vista on Wednesday, does not make any specific allegations but says it intends “to redress the negligent, reckless, and improper actions of the Rockbridge Area Community Services Board.”

Deeds had previously said he found the board “responsible” for his son's death.

From the Times-Dispatch:

The notice also said the community services board “lacked a specific protocol to guide or inform” its evaluator, Mike Gentry, in his evaluation. “Instead of a deliberative clinical fact-finding process to assess Gus’s dangerousness to self or others, including self-care, most of Mike Gentry’s efforts were directed toward locating a private psychiatric facility and administrative activities,” the notice said.

Read more at the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

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