John Montin, a man who spent almost 20 years in a Nebraska mental hospital, has filed a lawsuit for $33 million claiming that he was never mentally ill and should not have spent decades locked in an institution.
Montin, 52, filed the federal lawsuit Friday against doctors, nurses, and others associated with the Lincoln Regional Center, saying they kept him in the hospital “under the guise of treatment,” relying on police reports instead of court records to diagnose him with delusional disorder, the The Lincoln Journal-Star said
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Montin was released last year after a doctor at the center said he had been misdiagnosed since he was put in the hospital in August 1993.
After being charged with false imprisonment, use of a weapon, and other charges in 1993, Montin was determined by a jury to be not guilty by reason of insanity for two charges, and was found not guilty of several other charges.
But finally in 2013, Dr. Edward Kelly, a psychiatrist at the center, determined the actions Montin took that landed him in jail almost 20 years prior were caused by medication-induced psychosis from a prescription Montin took for back problems, the Journal-Star said.
Even before that determination, Lincoln attorney Jon Braaten was petitioning doctors to reconsider Montin’s case based on information from the 1993 trial. Anything the patient had said over the years about what actually happened was dismissed by doctors as being part of his delusional disorder.
"We were just banging the drums, and they finally had to start listening," Braaten told the Journal-Star. “It was an injustice, and he was right from the beginning.”
The disturbing idea that a sane person could be locked up for such a long period led many online to exclaim in horror over Montin’s situation, and wonder if his is the only case.
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