Lawsuit: Staff ignored man choking on piece of orange

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Western State Hospital in Lakewood, Wash.

SEATTLE (AP) — The brother of a patient at Western State Hospital, who died after choking on a piece of orange, has filed a federal lawsuit against seven workers and the former hospital CEO.

The lawsuit claims their “deliberate indifference” led to the painful and untimely death of 53-year-old Robert Kincaid.

He was at the hospital for competency services in September 2012 and did not have teeth or dentures, but he was not put on a special diet. After a staff member brought Kincaid a meal tray, he stumbled from his room choking. He was on the floor for eight minutes before workers came to his aid.

The lawsuit names the nurses, psychiatric security assistants, a psychiatrist and dietitian who worked on his case.

The complaint seeks unspecified damages.

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