Fort Smith lawyer sues psychiatric hospital after patient dies

River Valley News

FORT SMITH, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A Fort Smith lawyer sues a North Little Rock psychiatric hospital for the 2018 death of an African American patient held face-down for six minutes.

According to Trial Lawyer Joey McCutchen, Fort Smith native Tauheed Rashad Raullerson was originally admitted to the bridgeway hospital because of a mental health crisis.

Video surveillance shows staff members restraining Raullerson until he became unresponsive.

McCutchen said they attempted to revive him but he still died.

McCutchen tells us his goal is to make sure this doesn’t happen to anyone else in the community.

“We feel like this was an instance where this was a senseless death and that it was totally preventable and that it should not have happened,” he said. “The family wants to see justice and accountability.”

Hospital staff said their actions were justified because of the patient’s recent methamphetamine use, but McCutchen said Raullerson tested negative for any illegal drugs during the autopsy.

To read the full Bridgeway complaint click here.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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