Attacked B.C. senior sues hospital over suspect release
Nicholas Osuteye, 36, is charged with assaulting three women
An elderly woman who was hospitalized in a series of attacks in Vancouver last year has become the second victim to sue St. Paul's Hospital for releasing her alleged attacker.
Nicholas Osuteye, 36, is charged with three counts of attempted murder and one count each of assault and mischief, after allegedly violently assaulting the women in the city's Downtown Eastside, on the morning of Dec. 7, 2012.
He allegedly attempted to kill the three women - an 87-year-old, a 79-year-old and a 63-year-old - "by beating and kicking, and by stomping" on them.
He was arrested shortly afterwards wearing nothing but his underwear.
Victim Elizabeth Rizos, 79, has now filed a lawsuit, claiming a psychiatrist assessed Osuteye just hours before the incident, and he should never have been released.
Her lawyer Carey Veinotte says Rizos will deal with the effects of the unexpected attack for the rest of her life.
"The next thing that she can remember is waking up in the hospital," said Veinotte.
In a civil claim filed this week, Rizos blames Osuteye, the man charged with assaulting her, and St. Paul's Hospital for releasing him from psychiatric care after he allegedly told medical staff he was bent on violence.
"In those circumstances there are provisions whereby the person can be involuntarily committed and held," said Veinotte.
"We say the health care professionals with all of their training knew... and with that knowledge the balance tipped towards the safety of the public and the safety of Elizabeth Rizos and those two other women who were hospitalized."
Rizos is the second of Osuteye's three alleged victims to file a suit against St. Paul's Hospital.
In a response to the other claim, the hospital said Osuteye was assessed and released on Dec. 6, the day before the attack.
But the hospital says he was "calm and placid" and specifically denies that he threatened violence.
Osuteye, originally from Alberta, appeared in court in December and has been ordered to undergo a psychiatric assessment.
Family friends in Edmonton said he had been struggling with the recent death of his father and they were shocked to hear of his arrest.
None of the charges have been proven court.
With files from Jason Proctor