BRENTWOOD, Tenn. (WKRN) – A man who killed his father during a psychotic episode has filed a lawsuit claiming his psychiatrists and a nurse practitioner failed to properly treat his mental illness, nor insure his ongoing treatment when his primary psychiatrist left his practice and leaving his case for a new doctor.
A Williamson County judge found Daniel Cantrell not guilty of murder by reason of insanity in August 2014.
In April 2014, Cantrell stabbed his father multiple times inside his home.
Oliver Cantrell, Jr., had spent the day with his son and took him to the construction site of a home he was building with Daniel’s mother.
When they returned home, court records show Daniel Cantrell was in a psychotic episode.
Daniel Cantrell stabbed his father after becoming paranoid that the construction workers he saw earlier in the day were trying to kill him.
According to the lawsuit, in the days before the murder, Daniel Cantrell showed signs of an impending psychotic break. His family contacted the Tri-Star Centennial Psychiatric Associates for help.
The doctor who treated Daniel Cantrell had left the practice and a new psychiatrist and nurse practitioner were handling his case.
In the days following the change, according to the lawsuit, Cantrell’s medication and dosage were changed.
“On April 1, 2014, Daniel placed a frantic call to CPA to report that the ‘Seroquel was making him anxious.’ In reality, the abrupt cessation of Geodon, coupled with the lack of any effective medicine in his system during an acute psychotic episode, was wreaking havoc on Daniel’s mind,” according to the lawsuit.
On April 2, the day of the murder, the lawsuit states Cantrell’s parents made multiple calls to the answering service at CPA pleading for help.
“These people did nothing and when they finally returned the phone call, Daniel’s father was literally bleeding out dying on the floor,” Cantrell’s Civil Attorney Brian Cummings said. “We filed this to address the wrongs in the pitiful care Daniel received when he needed care the most.”
Jennifer Shain, Vice-President for Marking and Public Relations for Tri-Star Health System, which operates CPA, responded to News 2’s request for comment with the following statement:
We work in healthcare because of a common desire to help people, so when things do not happen the way we all wish they would, we feel terrible, but we disagree with the contentions and we are firm in that belief. This is absolutely heartbreaking, but you cannot summarize Daniel’s case, his course of treatment, the clinicians who cared for him and the complexities of his situation by focusing only on the tragic circumstances of his father’s death. Our thoughts and prayers are with Daniel and his family.
Cantrell remains in the Middle Tennessee Mental Health Institute. He is currently being medicated and is undergoing psychological treatment.
His wife visits him, as does his brother, who lives out of state.
“He is doing relatively well,” Cummings said. “The week before these events, he was the head of an IT department, working every day and living with his wife.”
Cantrell’s lawsuit seeks punitive and compensatory damages. He is also asking for a jury trial and for the defendants to pay his attorney’s fees.
They have not filed a formal response with the court as of Friday, May 15.