Is a life only worth $125,000? In some cases, apparently, the answer is yes.
The parents of a woman who died following a stay at the Milwaukee County Mental Health Complex, a case that lead led to a review of the way the mentally ill are treated in that locality, have received a $125,000 settlement, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported last week.
That $125,000 doesn’t sound like very much for the death of a 33-year-old woman, does it? But the case has ben credited with being the impetus for reform and change in the way the patients are treated at the Mental Health Complex.
The story said that Myron and Jean Anczak “remain deeply dissatisfied and conflicted” about the 2006 death of their daughter Cindy. Part of the settlment will go toward paying hospital bills, while the Anczaks’ attorney will be paid $44,000 for his work on the 5-year-0ld case.
According to the Journal Sentinel, the settlement says that Cindy Anczak’s demise and the investigation that followed has made the Mental Health Complex re-examine its policies and make improvements regarding “nuitritional care.”
The settlement specifically states that the Anczaks and the county “disagree over whether the county was at fault” in Cindy’s death on Aug. 16, 2006.
Her cause of death was due to complications of blood clots along with “self-induced” starvation, dehydration, and other conditions, the coroner’s report said. Cindy, who was bipolar, refused to eat during her five-week stay at the Mental Health Complex and lost 22 pounds while there, the Journal Sentinel reported.
Cindy was eventually put on anti-psychotic drugs, but still refused to eat. She was found unconscious, and was sent to Froedtert Hospital, where she died.
The settlement states that Cindy’s death wasn’t the result of any neglect on the part of the Mental Health Complex, according to the Journal Sentinel.
It’s no wonder that the Anczaks are “conflicted” about the outcome of their daughter’s case.