Woman blames Marshall for sister's suicide

By Kyla Asbury | Jan 18, 2012

HUNTINGTON -- A woman is suing the Marshall University Board of Governors after she sister committed suicide.

On April 19, 2009, Kimberly S. Tickle was transferred to the care of Dr. Phillip Spangler pursuant to a Cabell County Mental Hygiene Order, according to a complaint filed Dec. 21 in Cabell Circuit Court.

Donetta S. Craig, the personal representative of Tickle's estate, claims her sister had previously attempted to commit suicide three times prior to coming under Spangler's care.

Spangler provided psychiatric care, treatment, mental health counseling and medical care and management to Tickle from April 19, 2009, until April 23, 2009, according to the suit.

Craig claims Spangler discharged Tickle on April 23, 2009, but at the time of her discharge, Tickle had an atypical bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder, which is indicative of highly unstable psychiatric traits dictating strict in-patient oversight.

Tickle also had a history of abusing alcohol and prescription drugs, which further escalated her instability, according to the suit.

Craig claims after discharge, Tickle's mental state continued to decline and deteriorate.

Tickle was found dead on May 20, 2009, according to the suit, and it was concluded that her manner of death was suicide by a combination of cocaine, acetaminophen, dextromethorphan, doxylamine, diphenhydramine and alcohol intoxication.

Craig claims Spangler was negligent in discharging Tickle.

Spangler's negligence, breach of duty and/or intentional conduct, Tickle sustained severe injuries and damages prior to her death, according to the suit.

Craig is seeking compensatory and punitive damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. She is being represented by Jon D. Hoover.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge F. Jane Hustead.

Cabell Circuit Court case number: 11-C-940

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