A family is suing Beaver County, a private company and several nurses and other personnel over a death at the county's Friendship Ridge residence facility in a case that was moved Monday to U.S. District Court.
Lance A. Yocum, then 40, of Brighton, was charged in April 2011 with disorderly conduct and unreasonable noise. He was involuntarily committed to Friendship Ridge in Beaver on April 29, 2011, and died the next day, according to the complaint originally filed in Beaver County Court of Common Pleas.
He is described in the complaint as "severely mentally disabled" and a sufferer of sleep apnea.
Friendship Ridge staff did not allow Mr. Yocum to use a device he needed to control the apnea, said the complaint. Staff gave him medications meant for another resident, and then gave him his own medications on top of that, it said. Emergency medical personnel were not called after the error was detected, it said, and he died.
The lawsuit said the county, a private contractor and the employees were responsible for the wrongful death of Mr. Yocum and that staff were not properly trained or supervised. It demanded compensation.