St. Joseph’s lawsuit

The families of two men who killed themselves while under the care of a Hamilton hospital are suing the facility’s parent organization. Both families say St. Joseph’s hospital allowed their loved ones the means to take their own lives.

Brandon Taylor was 29-years-old when he killed himself. Leaving behind his fiance Jenn Smyth and her dreams of a family with him. August 15th 2016, Taylor had been rushed to St. Josephs West 5th hospital after an overdose. Three days later he suffocated himself with a plastic bag.

Four months after that, 42-year-old Joel Verge died after admitting himself for mental health and substance abuse treatment at the same facility.

“He hung himself with a belt and the big question I get from everybody was, where did the belt come from?” Carl Verge, Joel’s father.

The families of Taylor and Verge announced today they have each filed $8.5 million negligence suits against St. Joseph’s Health system.

“Plain and simple. They failed to properly supervise both Brandon and Joel and they actually gave them the very means to take their own lives.” Michael Smitiuch, lawyer.

These deaths aren’t isolated, they’re among 11 suicides by St. Joe’s patients in under two years.

Another was Daniel Reale, he died in June after hanging himself with his own shoelaces. Last month, Provincial NDP leader alongside the family of Daniel Reale, called for a public coroner’s inquest into the suicides. But today the coroner’s office announced there would be no inquest.

St. Joseph’s hospital released a statement saying they have already implemented recommendations from an external review that was conducted earlier this year.


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