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Society

Man Insists He Was Misdiagnosed, Kept In Psych Ward For 20 Years

| by Kathryn Schroeder

A man has filed a malpractice suit against his doctors after being kept in a state psychiatric ward for 20 years, claiming he was never mentally ill.

John Maxwell Montin, 52, filed the lawsuit against 21 former and current Lincoln Regional Center doctors, a program manager and two nurses.

Montin was released from the facility nearly a year ago after a regional center doctor concluded he had been misdiagnosed from the beginning of his internment.

Montin was diagnosed with delusional disorder 20 years ago by doctors during his 1993 court case. In that case, his charges included false imprisonment and use of a weapon, but was found not guilty of these two charges by reason of insanity, JournalStar reports.

The doctors allegedly relied on information from the initial police reports when they diagnosed Montin, and not on the court records that showed a different story.

Dr. Klaus Hartmann, a regional center psychiatrist, found in 2013 that it was a medication Montin had been taking for an injury to his back at the time of the incident that had caused a medication-induced psychosis. Once Montin stopped taking the medication, something that happened before he was committed, the psychosis was gone.

Montin insisted that he was not delusional to doctors during his time in the psychiatric ward, but he was ignored.

"It was an injustice, and he was right from the beginning," Jon Braaten, Montin's attorney, said.

Montin is seeking more than $22 million in damages for “incorrectly labeling him mentally ill, unnecessarily holding him, and subjecting him to treatments he did not need,” The Kansas City Star reports. An additional $760,000 is also being sought in lost wages and $10 million in punitive damages.

The lawsuit claims that due to his time in the psych ward, Montin missed the opportunity to marry, to have children and to attend his mother's funeral.

Montin currently resides in Florida where he has secured work cleaning the bottom of boats.

Sources: JournalStar, The Kansas City Star

Photo Credit: 401(K) 2013/Flickr.com

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