Two years ago, U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Janos Lutz, known as “Johnny,” committed suicide by overdosing on his prescription medication for PTSD. With the help of Kelley/Uustal, Johnny’s mother, Janine, served a demand letter to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), claiming that her son’s death was caused by medical negligence.
“John was crying out for help [from] his medical team,” his mother said, “but they ignored his cries and provided a clearly despondent man with…more powerful drugs.”
On January 12, 2015, the two-year anniversary of Johnny’s death, Janine attended the second-annual Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Awareness Ride. Sponsored by the foundation Janine began to honor her son, the PTSD Awareness Ride served as a reminder of the growing number of PTSD-linked suicides in the United States.
According to Janine, Johnny’s death was preventable, like all veterans suicides. During his struggle with PTSD, Johnny reached out to his doctor’s and friends, but didn’t find the help he needed.
“When my son reached out to his battle buddies they were in other states,” said Janine, “We have to have people here by their side when they need them.”
To help other veterans overcome PTSD, Janine envisions “Buddy Up” programs across the United States. These programs would give veterans suffering from PTSD the opportunity to get in touch with fellow veterans.
Son’s Death Linked to Medical Negligence, Mother Claims
In her demand letter, Janine indicated that her son’s suicide was directly linked to the negligent care provided by his doctors. Instead of finding a treatment solution that worked, doctors upped his antidepressant dosage.
At Kelley/Uustal, we are committed to helping our clients – people like Janine – fight for the justice their families deserve.
Learn more about the “Buddy Up” program here.