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State must pay $600,000 in hospital suicide

January 14, 2009 5:15:33 AM PST
A judge has ordered New Jersey to pay $600,000 to the family of a man who escaped a psychiatric hospital then killed himself. Michael Janicki's family argued that the Trenton Psychiatric Hospital failed to provide proper treatment. They won the wrongful death lawsuit on a technicality because the state failed to turn over required documents.

Janicki was in the state hospital because he was found not guilty by reason of insanity in the 2002 slaying of his father with a samurai sword. Janicki, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia, had said voices told him he could save his mother if he killed his father.

The 22-year-old South Brunswick resident used an expired pass to escaped in 2005. Janicki slashed his wrist with a plastic knife and bled to death 75 yards from the hospital.

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Information from: The Star-Ledger, http://www.nj.com/starledger

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