Monday, August 11, 2008

Misguided Justice

Here is an example of a “Catch 22” created by a system limiting the rights of a family to get treatment for a loved with a mental illness, yet allows another legal battle to ensue because the family failed to control the same loved one.

In 2007, Eddie Mies gunned down his father, resulting in a shootout with El Dorado County deputies that left Mies dead and two of the deputies injured.  A year later, the deputies have filed an $8 million civil law suite against the widow and the estate of her deceased husband, Arthur, and her son. 

The story, detailed in the Sacramento Bee, is tragic.  Nothing can undo that June 5, 2007 day.  Given the limited income and financial resources of 66-year old Karen Mies, the lawsuit is as unrealistic as it is misguided.

“June 5 was a tragic day for me and my family, and it was a tragic day for the deputies who were injured,” Karen Mies told the Bee. “We were all victims that day. But this lawsuit is victimizing our family again. What do they want? My husband's dead, my son’s dead. Do they want my house and my 10-year-old car?”

Here is a better solution that won’t eat up additional resources in court and provide a public policy aimed at prevent future tragedies.  El Dorado County should implement Laura’s Law.  This law would give families like the Mies’ the ability to get help for a loved one who needs it, but denies they are sick.