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Misdiagnosed man finally freed from mental institution after 20-years

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Spending 20 years locked away in a psychiatric ward when you are not mentally ill is enough to make a person go insane. Surprisingly John Maxwell Montin was able to stay sane after it happened to him and he is now suing for roughly $33 million in damages and lost wages, saying doctors incorrectly diagnosed him as delusional and gave him unnecessary treatments.

How did such a thing happen to Montin?

In 1992, police reports state that Montin approached a house in Nebraska claiming it belonged to his ancestors and he wanted to take it back. Then there was an eleven-hour standoff ending in a shootout but no injuries.

During his court trial, the story was very different. Apparently, the homeowners answered the door with shotguns and Montin went and hid in a ditch overnight. Montin was found not guilty of attempted murder and weapons charges.

Following his trial, he was taken to Lincoln Regional Center and was presumed delusional based on police reports instead of court records. For 20 years, doctors and nurses based their treatment off police reports.

Thanks to Montin’s attorney, Jon Braaten, Montin was finally released a year ago after he was able to get Dr. Klaus Hartmann, a regional doctor, to review a 500-page transcript from his 1993 trial and doctors to acknowledge the 20-year misdiagnosis.

Lincoln Regional Center’s malpractice made Montin miss his mother’s funeral and the opportunity to have a wife and kids.

If such a thing happened to Montin, who is to say it has not happened to other people? How many other people are being kept in a mental institution and forced unnecessary medication without actually needing it?

It seems like here in America, the people who need to be locked up the most are let free and the ones who are not dangerous are being labeled and locked away.

After years of being locked away with mentally ill people and taking certain medications, one may eventually go crazy. Perhaps those locked away and say they are not ill should be given another look.

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