If you remember the buzz around the tragic death by suicide of Tom Young, then you will be relieved to hear that his family is now suing the Department of Veteran Affairs for the mishandling of Young’s call.
Last Tuesday, Young’s widow and two daughters filed a $18 million wrongful death lawsuit in Cook County, citing the VA was negligent. The lawsuit claims that the VA and the contractor hired to help run its suicide hotline had abandoned Young.
To recap on what happened with Tom Young – after struggling with depression after his time served; he did exactly what he was supposed to do. He reached out to the crisis hotline, but he was sent to voicemail. He had also reached out to the Hines VA Hospital, but was put on a waiting list because there were no available beds in the suicide unit.
After dealing with the suicidal thoughts and receiving no help from the organization that is tasked with helping veterans struggling with these feelings, he took his own life by sitting in the way of a Metra train the next day.
The day after that? Both the crisis hotline and the Hines VA Hospital finally called him back, but it was too late.
"We are alleging that Mr. Young contacted the veteran crisis hotline as he was supposed to do, and his call was placed into a voicemail system, and not responded to until after he had taken his own life on July 23 of last year," said Kenneth Hoffman, an attorney for the Young family.
"Tom Young put his life on the line for his country and when he needed his country's help we weren't there for him," Hoffman said.
The VA has passed the blame over to simply the crisis hotline that they had contracted. That contractor, obviously, is no longer receiving calls.
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