Hospital Released Homicidal Patient Early Who Went on to Murder an Elderly Woman

A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed by Mary Miller’s estate against Carney Hospital, alleging that the facility released a homicidal patient too early who suffered from mental instability. As a result, he went on to stab 72-year old Miller to death. Tu Nguyen, the perpetrator in the case, was being held in Carney Hospital back in January 2012 on a judge’s order because “a failure to retain said person in a facility would create a likelihood of serious harm [Source: Boston Herald].  He was expected to remain in the facility for a potential six-month commitment, but no more than that. And after only being there for 11 days, the hospital released him.

Court documents from the case indicated that when Nguyen was released, he was still homicidal. And shortly after his release date, he broke into Miller’s apartment and stabbed her to death. Miller happened to be Nguyen’s neighbor at the time and he admitted to committing the murder. He was sentenced on June 18, 2014, to life in prison for the brutal act he committed.

While Nguyen is serving his time for the crime, the Miller’s estate has come forward with a wrongful death lawsuit claiming that Carney Hospital “had a duty to keep Nguyen committed.” Although the Superior Court Justice Heidi Brieger tossed the case out when it was brought before her, the Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) has agreed to review it and determine if there is any legitimacy to this wrongful death lawsuit. Although the SJC has agreed to take on the case, no hearing date has been set as of yet.

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While Nguyen should have remained under the care of the hospital given the condition he was admitted under, the facility was negligent by releasing him early.

The representing attorney for Steward Health Care which is the company that owns Carney Hospital stated that “the hospital is protected under state law from wrongful death suits under these circumstances.” The lawyer believes the hospital has no liability in this case, even though they released a patient who was said to be homicidal and a risk to society. While the representing attorney for the hospital has his arguments, so does the wrongful death lawyer handling the lawsuit filed by Miller’s estate. The argument he presented was that the hospital had a duty to protect others from him and violated a court order by allowing a patient who expressed killing others with knives back into the world without fulfilling the commitment.

Hopefully this time around, the SJC will see how the staff at the facility was negligent in how they handled the matter and justice will be served for the wrongful death of Miller. When a judge orders a person to remain under hospital staff supervision for up to six months as they are considered to be homicidal, it’s evident 11 days isn’t enough.


Was a loved one of yours wrongfully killed? Have you taken the necessary steps to initiate the filing of a wrongful death lawsuit? If not, will help you locate a wrongful death attorney in Boston who can get this accomplished so that you and your family can be on your way to seeking the justice you deserve.