TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — A jury in Tacoma has found Washington state responsible for the death of a man whose son killed him months after being released from a state psychiatric hospital.
Jurors on Thursday awarded $2.9 million in damages to the family of 56-year-old Robert Meline, who was killed in his sleep in 2012.
The News Tribune reports that his family sued Western State Hospital in 2013, arguing that it wrongly released Robert's son, Jonathan Meline, from commitment. They said officials knew the son was suffered from delusions and violent behavior.
Attorneys for the state argued that the younger Meline was stable when he was released, and the father's slaying nine months later wasn't foreseeable.
The jurors said the hospital was negligent in handling the son's release.
Jonathan Meline was charged with killing his father with a hatchet in 2012. He was found not guilty by reason of insanity and is at Western.