Advocacy group wants Parson to investigate state offices in DeBrodie case.

6 months 2 weeks 1 day ago Thursday, July 05 2018 Jul 5, 2018 Thursday, July 05, 2018 3:22:00 PM CDT July 05, 2018 in News
By: Matt Schmittdiel, KOMU 8 News Reporter
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JEFFERSON CITY - An advocacy group is demanding Gov. Mike Parson do an administrative review of the Department of Mental Health after Carl DeBrodie died while in its care.

This comes after Attorney General Josh Hawley filed a motion to dismiss state workers from a wrongful death lawsuit in the case.

The Missouri Coalition for Quality Care sent a letter to Parson’s office Sunday demanding the state take action in its role in DeBrodie’s death.  The coalition completely disagrees with Hawley that DeBrodie’s tragic death is not a state issue. 

“Whether the individuals are held accountable, the state certainly is," said coalition board member Ann Bickel.

She said the state hired the contractors, who were supposed to a face-to-face meeting with every person once a month.

"Carl had been dead for many months and no one knew it,” Bickel said.

The DeBrodie’s family attorney, Rudy Veit, said the case is about more than just getting money for the family.

“I have read Missouri Coalition for Quality Care’s letter and I am truly grateful for their support because this lawsuit is about more than the death of Carl DeBrodie. It’s about trying to get policies and procedures changed so this doesn’t happen again,” she said.

Veit and Bickel both agree the state is at fault.

Veit said, “These homes need closer supervision by the state and that is something the state should not delegate out to a third party."

She said it's "offensive" the state is saying that some other entity was responsible for what they were supposed to do, meaning there's no grounds for a lawsuit.

Veit hopes a possible settlement will include certain procedure and policy changes by the Department of Mental Health to ensure that such a situation will never happen again.

“We are responsible for these people who cannot care for themselves,” Bickel said.

The coalition wants investigators from outside Missouri to conduct the adminstrative review.

"I think the state has failed miserably in this and I don’t think you can appoint people from within the state to take a good look at this," Bickel said.

KOMU 8 News reached out to the governor's and attorney general's offices but neither has responded.

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