Michigan Appeals Court Reinstates Suit, Says Hospital that Released Man Who Later Killed Wife Can Be Sued
Christopher Howard was physically ill, making threats and showing signs of mental illness when his wife took him to Providence Hospital’s emergency room in Southfield, Michigan in December 2002. Four days later, a doctor recommended that Howard be transferred to a unit for the mentally ill. The transfer, however, never occurred. Howard eventually was discharged, with another doctor saying he didn’t need to go to the psychiatric unit. Ten days later, Howard killed his estranged wife while see slept at her home in Southfield.
A three-judge federal appeals court panel ruled that Providence hospital can be sued for releasing Christopher Howard, reinstating a lawsuit filed by the estate of the the deceased wife against Providence Hospital. The appeals court panel overturned a 2007 ruling in favor of the hospital. AP (4/7 White)