Metro-East News

Belleville widow sues hospital saying it wouldn’t let her leave after husband died

Welcome to the Belleville News-Democrat

The Belleville News-Democrat and serve readers in the metro-east and Southern Illinois.
Up Next
The Belleville News-Democrat and serve readers in the metro-east and Southern Illinois.

A 58-year-old Belleville woman is suing Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis alleging assault, negligence and emotional distress after the hospital wouldn’t let her leave the medical facility after her husband had died, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Linda Derouin had stayed by her husband, Michael Derouin, until he died in June of last year at Barnes-Jewish. But the hospital forced her to stay to undergo a psychiatric evaluation over her grief, the Post-Dispatch reported.

The Post-Dispatch reported that Barnes-Jewish in court documents said Derouin “made statements to healthcare providers indicating an intention to harm herself, thus, requiring further intervention and evaluation to determine the likelihood of serious harm.”

Derouin is suing for assault, battery, negligence and inflicting emotional distress.

Linda Derouin told the Post-Dispatch a nurse told her to wait in a conference room and told her she couldn’t leave the hospital until she completed a psychiatric evaluation to assess her risk of suicide.

When Derouin stood up to go out of the room, a security guard pushed her down, handcuffed her wrists to a wheelchair, and put her on a freight elevator with her husband’s body to the basement morgue, according to the lawsuit.

Derouin said she has a severe loss of hearing and couldn’t hear what staff was telling her before she was tackled to the ground.

The hospital said doctors who examined her recorded Derouin’s complaint about “depression” and “suicidal ideas.”

Barnes-Jewish also said in court documents that Derouin had no access to guns or medication and that there was no concern for suicidal behavior.

The hospital denied the other claims.

Derouin is seeking $25,000 from the hospital.

Joseph Bustos is the state affairs and politics reporter for the Belleville News-Democrat, where he strives to hold elected officials accountable and provide context to decisions they make. He has won multiple awards from the Illinois Press Association for coverage of sales tax referenda.