Ruling: Security Firm Not Responsible for Psychiatric Patient’s Death

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — An appellate court in New York has ruled that a security firm is not liable for the death of a patient at the former Bayley Seton Hospital, who fled from the psychiatric ward and later engaged in a shootout with police outside his home, which resulted in his death  five years ago.

Retired police sergeant Jason Aiello, 36, was waiting for an in-patient bed in the hospital’s psychiatric waiting room on July 22, 2006, when a hospital technical unlocked the door, prompting the patient to escape, reports.

The patient ran to his home where he retrieved two firearms. He died shortly after getting into a gun battle with police outside his residence.

His widow, Rachel Aiello, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Bayley Seton, Richmond University Medical Center, which operated clinics at the hospital; St. Vincent Catholic Medical Centers of New York, Burns International Security Services, and several doctors.

The Appellate Division, First Department upheld Manhattan state Supreme Court’s dismissal of the case against Burns International Security Services. The court ruled that because Burns security guards were not present during the incident, the security firm was not responsible for the actions of the hospital worker who unlocked the waiting room door. Additionally, the court noted that hospital management and medical staff had supervisor authority over the security guards.

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