Sunday, December 16, 2018

PTSD Vietnam veteran died getting out of moving ambulance

Jury awards $7 million to family of Vietnam vet who died after climbing out of moving ambulance

Chicago Tribune
Mike Nolan
December 14, 2018

Bonamarte said the ambulance was traveling at about 30 to 35 miles per hour when Stein climbed out, and he suffered multiple injuries, including head and rib fractures. Lawyers speculated that confusion brought on by PTSD prompted Stein to leave the ambulance.
A jury has awarded $7 million to the family of Patrick Stein, shown, who died in July 2014 after climbing out of a moving ambulance. (Law firm of Levin and Perconti)

Cook County Circuit Court jury has awarded $7 million to the family of a Vietnam veteran from the south suburbs who died in 2014 after climbing out of a moving ambulance, according to an attorney who represented the family.

Patrick Stein, 64, who lived in Matteson at the time, suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder after two tours of duty in Vietnam, according to the law firm Levin and Perconti.

The verdict in the wrongful death lawsuit was reached late Wednesday, Michael Bonamarte, an attorney with the firm, said Friday.

Stein had been brought to St. James Olympia Fields Hospital in July 2014 after his family had found him outside his daughter’s home with a butcher knife clutched to his abdomen, according to the firm.

Medical staff at the hospital diagnosed the man as having an altered mental status, acute confusion and suicidal behavior, according to the firm, and recommended Stein be transferred to Edward Hines Veterans Affairs hospital in Maywood, where psychiatric services were available. While at St. James, Stein didn’t recall the episode with the knife, according to the firm.
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