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John Montin's lawsuit: Sane man held in mental hospital 2 decades, misdiagnosed

Random patient in mental hospital (not Jonh Montin)
Random patient in mental hospital (not Jonh Montin)
Photo by China Photos/Getty Images

A sane man held for 20 years in a mental hospital is suing the facility. John Montin's $33 million lawsuit accuses a Nebraska hospital of misdiagnosing him and trapping him there against his will for two decades. Today, the Florida man is struggling to get his life back after the alleged malpractice, this according to a July 16 Christian Post report.

Friday, Montin, 52, filed a federal lawsuit against Lincoln Regional Center for failing to follow protocol to substantiate or rule out a court's finding that he was fit to be confined to a mental asylum.

His ordeal began in 1993 when he was arrested for exhibiting some rather bizarre behavior. Reportedly, the man, armed with a weapon, arrived at a neighbor's home and said he was "taking it back “because it "belonged to his ancestors."

After a police investigation, the man was charged with a number of alleged crimes: false imprisonment, brandishing a weapon, and other infractions. His case went to court where a jury found him not guilty due to temporary insanity. Still, records show a judge ordered him to the mental hospital for treatment.

The John Montin lawsuit charges that staff at Lincoln failed to validate the court's findings; no one evaluated the court-ordered patient for a formal psychological diagnosis. And for the next 20 years after the misdiagnosis , he would remain trapped inside the hospital's walls.

Thankfully, a doctor on staff made the proper diagnosis: the man was not insane and should not be held any further. Prior to that, Montin obtained a patient advocate who put mounting pressure on the treatment facility.

We were just banging the drums, and they finally had to start listening. It was an injustice, and he was right from the beginning," said Jon Braaten.

The multi-million dollar lawsuit highlights the fact that the hospital's negligence led to him missing his mother's funeral, thriving in a normal life, and getting married.

John Montin's lawsuit is pending, but it underscores how a culture of malpractice exists in this country. He was lucky, but countless and forgotten others are still paying the price.

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