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Family to File Plymouth County Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Psychiatric Patient’s Homicide

The family of Joshua Messier intends to file a Massachusetts wrongful death complaint against the state now that the medical examiner’s officer has issued a homicide ruling. Messier died from blunt head impact and “compression of the chest” last May after he was restrained by guards at Bridgewater State Hospital.

The 23-year-old psychiatric patient was treated at the Brockton Hospital ER on May 4 for heart failure. There was dried blood in his hair and nostrils. He also had facial bruises and ligature marks on his body. The Plymouth District Attorney’s Office is investigating Messier’s death.

Meantime, the officers involve claim that after patient assaulted two cops, other officers helped restrain him. Messier then went into cardiac arrest. According to The Boston Globe, Massachusetts Correction Officers Federated Union Steve Kenneway is calling the incident a “clean use of force.” He says that that the examiner’s finding that Messier’s death was a homicide is just a legal term noting that another person was involved in the fatality.

Messier was diagnosed with paranoia and schizophrenia about six years ago after he injured his head during a golf accident. He had been at Bridgewater State Hospital, which is a correction facility, for over a month when he died.

Messier’s mom, Lisa, said she had been scared for her son while he was at Bridgewater. She wants criminal charges filed in his death. She is accusing the officers of Massachusetts police brutality, in addition to failing to help and protect a man who was clearly mentally disabled. Her family has hired a Boston wrongful death attorney.

Boston, Massachusetts Police Brutality
While most police officers are well intentioned when doing their jobs, there are cops that abuse their authority or get caught in the moment and end up using excessive force when trying to apprehend someone. Unfortunately, use of too much force can cause serious injuries and death. Police violence is a violation of one’s civil rights, and you may be able to obtain Boston police brutality compensation for your injuries.

Patient’s death after scuffle is ruled homicide, Boston.com, March 10, 2010
Man restrained at Bridgewater dies, Boston Herald, May 7, 2010
Related Web Resources:
Bridgewater State Hospital, Mass.gov
Cops and the Mentally Ill, Newsweek, July 31, 2008