Patient shot at Lynchburg General psychiatric emergency center files $100 million lawsuit against three parties

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WDBJ7) Jonathan Warner walked into the Psychiatric Emergency Center at Lynchburg's General Hospital in January last year. His mother checked him in, seeking psychiatric help.

While he was there he lunged toward a guard and was shot in the back four times.

“As of now to go into a hospital to get treated, he now walks out with more trauma which is post-traumatic stress, and he'll never walk again, that's the result of the last hospital visit for mental health,” said Ruth Ann Warner in an interview with WDBJ7 last year.

A year and a half after the shooting, Warner is paralyzed from the waist down and in a wheel-chair.

Lynchburg's Commonwealth Attorney Michael Doucette announced in June of 2016 that he would not be filing charges against the security guard or Warner, citing self-defense. However, that was not the end of the family's fight.

Tuesday the family's legal team filed a lawsuit against Centra Health, Baskervill Architecture (the company who designed the building where the shooting took place) and the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The legal documents claim negligent design of the medical facility, as well as negligent psychiatric licensing by Virginia officials. The family is seeking 100 million dollars, but Paul Valois, representing the family, says they are fighting for something more.

"One of the reasons that we elected to sue the Commonwealth of Virginia is the family is very interested in affecting change in the way that mentally ill patients are treated,” said Paul Valois.

After filing the lawsuit, the legal team has one year to serve it to the parties listed. WDBJ7 has reached out to all three parties, however because it has not been served yet they have decided not to comment.