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I'm not sure if you guys have heard about this one yet. Just more fuel for the anti-gunners...

Mom sues Wal-Mart over daughter's suicide
Schizophrenic woman bought gun at store
Tuesday, December 21, 2004 Posted: 9:21 PM EST (0221 GMT)

http://www.cnn.com/2004/LAW/12/21/gun.lawsuit.ap/index.htmlDALLAS, Texas (AP) -- Near the end of her short life, Shayla Stewart, a diagnosed manic-depressive and schizophrenic, assaulted police officers and was arrested for attacking a fellow customer at a Denton Wal-Mart where she had a prescription for anti-psychotic medication.

Given all those signs, her parents say, another Wal-Mart just seven miles away should have never sold her the shotgun she used to kill herself at age 24 in 2003.

Her mother, Lavern Bracy, is suing the world's biggest store chain for $25 million, saying clerks should have known about her daughter's illness or done more to find out.

The case, filed earlier this month, has reignited a debate over the confidentiality of mental health records and the effectiveness of background checks on would-be buyers of guns.

"We know that if they had so much as said, `Why do you want this?' we would not be having this conversation because Shayla would have had a meltdown," said her stepfather, Garrett Bracy.

The Bracys said Wal-Mart's gun department could have checked Wal-Mart's own security files or the pharmacy department's prescription records before selling her the weapon.

Wal-Mart spokeswoman Christi Gallagher declined to comment on the lawsuit.

But pharmacy prescription records are confidential under a 1996 federal law, so stores cannot use them when deciding whether to sell a gun.

Also, Wal-Mart did a background check on Stewart, as required under federal law, but through no fault of its own, her name did not show up in the FBI database. The reason: The database contains no mental health records from Texas and 37 other states.

Texas does not submit mental health records because state law deems them confidential, said Paul Mascot, an attorney with the Texas Department of State Health Services. Other states have not computerized their record-keeping systems or do not store them in a central location for use by the FBI.

Federal law prohibits stores from selling guns to people who, like Stewart, have a history of serious mental illness.

Would-be buyers must fill out a form that asks about mental health. Stewart, who had been involuntarily committed to an institution and declared dangerously mentally ill by a judge, lied on that form, according to her mother's attorney's office. Wal-Mart ran a background check anyway, as required by federal law.

Michael Faenza, president and chief executive of the National Mental Health Association, applauds Texas' refusal to share information with the FBI database. He said it would not be fair to violate patients' privacy when there is no data to support claims that mentally ill people are more violent than others.

"The tragedies that families face when people are killed is terrible. And frankly I wish handguns were not so available in this country," he said. "But it's not right, in our minds, to make social policy based on just a few cases."

Garrett Bracy couldn't disagree more.

He and his wife watched his stepdaughter's six-year decline from straight-A high school student to violent and unpredictable stranger. She was hospitalized five times, twice under court orders. Her longest hospitalization, lasting a month, came in 2002 after she refused to leave her room or take her medication.

The suggestion that Wal-Mart should have checked prescription records infuriates Erich Pratt, a spokesman for the Virginia-based group Gun Owners of America.

"Does that mean mental illness prevents everyone on Prozac from owning a gun? Or women with PMS?" he said.

Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D-New York, who ran for Congress after her husband was killed and son wounded in 1993 by a gunman on a Long Island Rail Road train, wants to strengthen the federal background check system by encouraging states to share mental health records. She has introduced legislation that would give states grants to automate and turn over the information.

She drafted the bill after a priest and a parishioner were shot to death by a schizophrenic man in a New York church in 2002. He, too, should not have been allowed to buy a gun.

"When you see these deaths that could have been prevented it's a shame," McCarthy said.

As the Bracys prepare for another Christmas without their daughter, they are urging lawmakers to support McCarthy's bill and dealers to conduct their own background checks.

"Lavern went to the store the other day to buy over-the-counter headache sinus medication and they limited the amount of sinus medication she could buy at one time," her husband said, his voice trembling with emotion. "But Shayla can walk into a store and buy a gun and they could care less. That's got to change."
 

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If people really want to kill themselves, they will find a way. As much as I dislike Walmart, they did nothing wrong.

What if she jumped off the Golden Gate bridge, sue the City of San Francisco?

It's too bad the bitch who burned herself with the McDonalds coffee (and sued) didn't die from her injuries. Our society is out of control. People need to take responsibility for their own actions and quit blaming everyone else.

Slipped on a sidewalk and broke your face? So what, maybe it's because you are a spasticated moron, it's not the city's fault. Fell down the stairs at work? It's not your employer's damn fault you can't properly navigate a simple altitude adjusting device.

Later,
....Mike
 

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Amen to that brother, you and I think just alike..ooh yeah, WalMart sucks..They really piss me off with their bigger than you attitude..They know they have more and better lawyers than you and they push their weight around like no other..
 

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Mike said:
If people really want to kill themselves, they will find a way. As much as I dislike Walmart, they did nothing wrong.

What if she jumped off the Golden Gate bridge, sue the City of San Francisco?

It's too bad the bitch who burned herself with the McDonalds coffee (and sued) didn't die from her injuries. Our society is out of control. People need to take responsibility for their own actions and quit blaming everyone else.

Slipped on a sidewalk and broke your face? So what, maybe it's because you are a spasticated moron, it's not the city's fault. Fell down the stairs at work? It's not your employer's damn fault you can't properly navigate a simple altitude adjusting device.

Later,
....Mike
well said...
 

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hey! i like wal-mart.

sounds like wally world did all they were supposed to do.
we should thankful that she did a solo,and not took out others.
 

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Sounds like all the doubt needed to pass a not-guilty verdict is right there in the news article. That lady doesn't stand a chance at getting any of that money. She should lobby the state or the government to change the laws, not blame Walmart
 

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Wal-Mart did everything they were supposed to do. What did she want them to do...break the law? I work in a Pharmacy, so I know the privacy laws. If the pharmacist was to tell the guy at the gun counter what meds she was taking, he could/would have lost his license to dispense medication. I hope that bitch doesn't get any money from Wal-Mart.
 

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What a crock! Can't believe people these days - always willing to sue somebody else for their problems/mistakes....
 

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ShowStop said:
Sounds like all the doubt needed to pass a not-guilty verdict is right there in the news article. That lady doesn't stand a chance at getting any of that money. She should lobby the state or the government to change the laws, not blame Walmart
The biggest issue I see with this is that it should never go to court. This is just one of those many damn frivilous lawsuits that is ruining things for the rest of us.

Yes, there are instances where a lawsuit should be done, but so many should never see a courtroom. I can see suing the store if a shelf falls on someone and severly hurts them if another customer had already reported the problem and nothing was done. This would show neglect causing injury, but this one is just crazy.
 

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M.martian said:
The biggest issue I see with this is that it should never go to court. This is just one of those many damn frivilous lawsuits that is ruining things for the rest of us.

Yes, there are instances where a lawsuit should be done, but so many should never see a courtroom. I can see suing the store if a shelf falls on someone and severly hurts them if another customer had already reported the problem and nothing was done. This would show neglect causing injury, but this one is just crazy.
Yep! I completely agree with you there! Just makes you wanna :bitchslap the people that start these BS lawsuits!
 

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TacoCrazy said:
Amen to that brother, you and I think just alike..ooh yeah, WalMart sucks..They really piss me off with their bigger than you attitude..They know they have more and better lawyers than you and they push their weight around like no other..
did you even read the article? Obvoiusly not otherwise you would see wallmart did nothing wrong. Where do you get your statement?

:stfu:
 

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The mom is more than likely following the advice of a lawyer. An individual starts the legal process of a law suit, but lawyers and "our" legal system continue the process.
If you feel so strongly about misuse of the courts send a letter to your congressman protesting the misuse of the court system.
Tim
 

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Would-be buyers must fill out a form that asks about mental health. Stewart, who had been involuntarily committed to an institution and declared dangerously mentally ill by a judge, lied on that form, according to her mother's attorney's office. Wal-Mart ran a background check anyway, as required by federal law.

Wal-Mart clearly did what they were supposed to do, and if the dumbass lies about their history, Wal-Mart can't possibly know that.

Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D-New York, who ran for Congress after her husband was killed and son wounded in 1993 by a gunman on a Long Island Rail Road train, wants to strengthen the federal background check system by encouraging states to share mental health records. She has introduced legislation that would give states grants to automate and turn over the information.

She drafted the bill after a priest and a parishioner were shot to death by a schizophrenic man in a New York church in 2002

Michael Faenza, president and chief executive of the National Mental Health Association, applauds Texas' refusal to share information with the FBI database. He said it would not be fair to violate patients' privacy when there is no data to support claims that mentally ill people are more violent than others.


I think those cases give reasonable support for the idea that mentally impaired people have a tendency towards violence.

If she was uncontrollable to the point where she had to be institutionalized, someone should have been with her whenever she left home, because she was obviously unpredictable and possibly dangerous.

The family doesn't deserve a dime. In fact, the people who were assaulted by the woman should get money from the family itself.
 

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AK98Taco said:
I think those cases give reasonable support for the idea that mentally impaired people have a tendency towards violence.
Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. Three incidences of mentally ill individuals acting violently gives excellent support for the idea that mentally ill people have a tendency towards violence. :rolleyes:

You obviously have little-to-no experience working with or interacting with the mentally ill. The mentally ill are no more prone to acts of violence towards others than the average person. In fact, the rates of violence among the mentally ill are actually lower than the general population. Unfortunately for the mentally ill, ill-conceived notions like yours in the general public lead to further misunderstanding and stigma, which only serves to increase the isolation and decline in social functioning experienced by the seriously mentally ill. Additionally, attitudes such as yours keep seriously mentally ill individuals from seeking treatment in the first place, because they know that most people won't understand their illness and will distance themselves from them, assume they're violent sociopaths, etc.

You know, I've seen a lot of stuff on the news lately about married individuals killing their spouse. And every time I watch COPS, I see all these married individuals who beat up their spouse or their kids, or kill them. Lots of "excellent support" for the idea that married people have a tendency towards violence. What the hell is wrong with this country that we're still allowing people to get married?? (heavy sarcasm)

AK98Taco said:
In fact, the people who were assaulted by the woman should get money from the family itself.
Why? Because the family was at fault for the adult daughter's actions? She was mentally ill. Such illness is not something that can be rationally faulted to an individual or a family. It's an illness... like cancer, or diabetes, or glaucoma. It's a naturally occurring thing. It's not like they said, "hey, let's make our daughter seriously mentally ill and violent, and release her upon society." It's an unfortunate incident, but not something you can blame another person or a family for. If blame rests anywhere, it's with the inadequacies of the system. But to say the family owes the victims money is simply ludicrous. Even more ludicrous than the family sueing Walmart, when it's apparent Walmart did everything it was required to do.
 

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synovus said:
Three incidences of mentally ill individuals acting violently gives excellent support for the idea that mentally ill people have a tendency towards violence.
That's three incidents mentioned in this article alone! I simply made my comment based on the statement in the article which went against the prior statements and support, in fact I was laughing as I typed it.

I have a neighbor that works at the institute for the mentally ill people in my home city of Anchorage, and many of them are instituted because they are violent, but mostly because of their heavy use of drugs. While we've had people escape from the institute and commit serious crimes, ranging from kidnapping to murder, they are still the minority amongst inmates in the state corrections system, according to my neighbor.

synovus said:
You obviously have little-to-no experience working with or interacting with the mentally ill. The mentally ill are no more prone to acts of violence towards others than the average person. In fact, the rates of violence among the mentally ill are actually lower than the general population. Unfortunately for the mentally ill, ill-conceived notions like yours in the general public lead to further misunderstanding and stigma, which only serves to increase the isolation and decline in social functioning experienced by the seriously mentally ill. Additionally, attitudes such as yours keep seriously mentally ill individuals from seeking treatment in the first place, because they know that most people won't understand their illness and will distance themselves from them, assume they're violent sociopaths, etc.
All very true, though I still maintain that people who are seriously mentally ill or have a history of uncontrollable behavior should be accompanied by a capable person when in public or around people who are not familiar with their needs.

synovus said:
Why? Because the family was at fault for the adult daughter's actions? She was mentally ill. Such illness is not something that can be rationally faulted to an individual or a family. It's an illness... like cancer, or diabetes, or glaucoma.
I did not blame the family for their daughter's situation, nor did I downplay the seriousness of her illness. I simply said that the family should be responsible for what their daughter is doing if she is known to be unpredictable and/or uncontrollable. Simply going with her to the store and being a friend is all I'm suggesting. Someone who doesn't know her isn't going to be aware of her condition, so they are not going to be prepared to deal with her if she were to have a breakdown.

It's very sad that those who are mentally ill are not always able to get the help they need, and some are not able to be helped at all. It's unfortunate that many doctors have reduced their treatment of the mentally ill to revolve around a drug that targets the syptom of their mental illness, temporarily makes these poor people more "normal" for a short time, rather than helping the patients deal with the problem.

There has to be better way to help the mentally ill deal with life.
 

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stupid bitch!

KANEMAN23 said:
Her mother, Lavern Bracy, is suing the world's biggest store chain for $25 million, saying clerks should have known about her daughter's illness or done more to find out.

Ok, now this is just fuckin ridiculous! She was psychotic apparently. Her mom says the clerks should have known about her mental illness(s)??? How the hell does she figure that? Should every store clerk every where in the country be forced to know every1's mental stability. I'm sorry, suicide is stupid, suicide is irresponsible, and suicide is very selfish! The bitch killed herself. Unless Walmart employees forced her to do it, then they aren't at fault and if any court says otherwise, I hope that judge(s) burns in hell! That's just wrong!!!
 

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I agree

synovus said:
Why? Because the family was at fault for the adult daughter's actions? She was mentally ill. Such illness is not something that can be rationally faulted to an individual or a family. It's an illness... like cancer, or diabetes, or glaucoma. It's a naturally occurring thing. It's not like they said, "hey, let's make our daughter seriously mentally ill and violent, and release her upon society." It's an unfortunate incident, but not something you can blame another person or a family for.
Well, in some situations, nothing is done about it. Some parents don't wanna listen to Dr.'s and Counselors. Some parents just refuse to accept the fact that their child is mentally ill. And, well they wait and then wanna do something about it after it's too damn late. I've got a friend in this situation. It's not widespread or anything. I'm not saying it's the parents fault, per say. I'm just saying that it is their fault that they didn't do anything. But, it's not their fault the kid has problems or went ballistic on someone or something. But yes, you're right about pretty much everything else. My mom is a Psychologist. She never tells me names or anything, but she'll tell me things that happen in her group counseling sessions sometimes, it's absolutely amazing how some of the parents will claim their child did nothing wrong when they clearly provoked another child, but child #1 is the 1 who gets hurt.
 

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ALRIGHT I HAVE HEARD ENOUGH. I AM GOING TO SUE ALL OF YOU FOR SAYING WALMART. THAT OFFENDS ME AND I'M NOT HAPPY ABOUT IT. YOU WILL ALL HEAR FROM MY LAWYER AND TTORA WILL BE SHUT DOWN..............
(The sad thing is someone out there is seriously thinking this) what a bunch of :bs:
 

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We're not talking about some parents. We're talking about her parents.

wslytoy said:
I'm just saying that it is their fault that they didn't do anything.
Didn't do anything when? The article doesn't report on what steps her parents took to help their daughter, so we have no real idea of what they did or did not do. But we can infer that they did indeed seek treatment for their daughter on at least a few occasions, and probably many times. That's the reality most parents face when their child has schizophrenia or any other serious mental illness.

From the article:

He and his wife watched his stepdaughter's six-year decline from straight-A high school student to violent and unpredictable stranger. She was hospitalized five times, twice under court orders. Her longest hospitalization, lasting a month, came in 2002 after she refused to leave her room or take her medication.
She was hospitalized 5 times. Even in the case of the court-ordered hospitalizations, the parents were likely the ones hospitalizing her, or initiating her hospitalization. Because of the way laws are set up regarding mental health issues, many times parents have to seek court orders to get their children hospitalized, especially when it's against the (adult) child's wishes. Hell, in most states, the parents have to file criminal charges against their adult child in order for mandated hospitalization to occur. Talk about a fucked up system!

So again, blaming the parents, and stating that they should be financially or legally responsible is absurd. What's next... sueing parents when their 45 year old son kills someone while drunk driving, because they never got him into AA? She was an adult. She made her choices as an adult. Blame rests with her and no one else.
 
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