LINCOLN (AP) — A judge has ruled against a Florida man who sued doctors and psychiatrists at Nebraska's psychiatric hospital, where he was held on a misdiagnosis for 19 years.
The Lincoln Journal Star reports that 53-year-old John Montin accused them of failing to properly evaluate him, alleging that it led to improper treatment plans and his continued confinement.
Senior U.S. District Judge Lyle Strom said in his order last week that Montin may have a right against unnecessary and improper confinement, but that it wasn't the doctors' decision that kept him at the center, but rather a state judge's.
Montin's 2014 lawsuit sought more than $22 million in damages for incorrectly being labeled mentally ill and for unnecessarily being held and subjected to treatments he didn't need. He also sought $760,000 in lost wages and $10 million in punitive damages.
Montin was committed to the Lincoln Regional Center in 1993 after jury found him not guilty of attempted murder and a weapons charge, and not responsible by reason of insanity of false imprisonment and use of a weapon.
For years, Montin's doctors said his denials that he was mentally ill was evidence that he was when they made annual reports to a judge who ultimately decided whether Montin was mentally ill and dangerous.
In 2012, Montin's attorney persuaded Dr. Klaus Hartmann, a psychiatrist at the center, to read a transcript of his trial, which differed from law enforcement accounts of the incident that led to Montin's arrest. Hartmann changed his view and started working to obtain his release.
In 2013, Dr. Edward Kelly, another psychiatrist at the center, concluded that a psychosis induced by medication Montin was taking for back pain had led to the 1993 incident. He said the psychosis was gone when Montin stopped taking the medicine.
A judge ordered his release in July 2013.
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