Recently, an addiction facility in Mishawaka, near South Bend, Indiana, called Praxis Landmark Recovery, reached national headlines after three patients passed away. The three patients died while under the facility’s care between July 3rd and July 9th, 2023, causing outrage and concern among the public and the rest of the facility’s patients.
In addition to these tragedies, the patients and staff in the facility have reported numerous incidents to the police and fire departments. The police stated that there have been at least nine overdoses, a sexual assault, two incidents of rape, and a stabbing, all in 2023 alone. These incidents reveal what may be considered a pattern of mismanagement and negligence in the facility.
If you lost a loved one at Praxis Landmark Recovery or another medical facility, you have the right to seek wrongful death damages against whoever was at fault. This may include staff within the facility or the institution itself. If you have questions regarding wrongful death claims, you can contact the Indiana wrongful death attorneys at Crossen Law Firm.
The Tragic Deaths at the Praxis Landmark Recovery Facility
Praxis Landmark Recovery is a 160-bed facility specializing in drug addiction. It’s a male-only facility and is the largest addiction treatment center in Indiana that accepts Medicaid. The facility is part of the Landmark Recovery company, and this particular location opened in 2022.
While under the care of Praxis, two men overdosed and died. Another victim likely committed suicide, but the police are investigating his death. Since the tragic incidents occurred, numerous of the facility’s patients have left, many of whom cited safety concerns. Some patients stated that the facility struggled to provide medications promptly and that the facility’s security was lax enough for new patients to sneak in drugs.
The facility has parted ways with its Executive Director and Nursing Director, and it’s no longer accepting new patients. Further, the St. Joseph County Police Department requested that Indiana regulators revoke the facility’s license to care for patients, as incidents have been an ongoing problem since the facility opened. Then on July 28, the license for Praxis Landmark Recovery was revoked in Mishawaka, along with facilities in Bluffton, near Fort Wayne, and Carmel, near Indianapolis, by the Indiana Division of Mental Health and Addiction.
Wrongful Death Damages in Indiana
The horrible incidents that occurred at Praxis Landmark Recovery shine a light on the importance of wrongful death claims in Indiana. Wrongful death claims are meant to compensate family members after they lose a loved one, and people can seek these damages after fatal incidences of medical malpractice.
Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare professional, such as a doctor, nurse, or medical facility, deviates from accepted medical standards and causes injury or death to a patient as a direct result. Those who died at Praxis Landmark Recovery were under the medical facility’s care. If a victim’s family can prove that the facility breached its duty of care to their lost family member, they may be able to recover wrongful death compensation.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
In Indiana, the only person who can file a wrongful death claim is the victim’s representative of their estate, also known as the executor. The only exception is if the deceased individual can be considered a child. In wrongful death situations, Indiana law defines a child as someone who:
- Is under 20 and has no dependants or spouse
- Is under 23, has no dependents or spouse, and is enrolled in an educational program
If Indiana law technically considers the victim to be a child, their parent or legal guardian can file a wrongful death lawsuit. Otherwise, the personal representative of the victim’s estate must file to recover damages on the family’s behalf.
Typically, the personal representative will also be a family member, but the victim could have named anyone to be their executor while they were still living. If the victim didn’t name a personal representative, the probate court will assign one.
While it’s the executor’s responsibility to file wrongful death claims, the recipient of the damages will likely go to close family members. Those who get priority for these damages include:
- Dependent children
- Dependent next of kin
If the victim didn’t have a spouse, children, or dependents, the damages may go to the decedent’s parents or siblings.
How Much Money Can I Recover in a Wrongful Death Claim in Indiana?
The amount of money that you can recover from a wrongful claim will depend on your specific damages. The types of damages you may be able to recover include:
- The victim’s medical expenses leading up to their death
- Funeral and burial costs
- The victim’s lost wages and the money they would have made in the future
- Loss of love and companionship
- Loss of a parent
- Fees associated with administering the estate
- Compensation for legal expenses when pursuing the claim
Contact an Indiana Wrongful Death Attorney
If you lost a family member due to another party’s negligence, you need to contact a wrongful death attorney, especially if the incident involved medical malpractice. Unfortunately, medical malpractice claims are complex, and it’s often incredibly challenging to prove that the negligent party was directly responsible for the victim’s death.
Here at Crossen Law Firm, we help Indiana residents recover the money they deserve following a tragic loss. We’ll work diligently to prove your case and maximize your compensation. You can get started with your claim today by calling 317-401-8626, or you can contact us online here.