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Staff accused of abuse at state-run hospital claim immunity

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Several staff members accused of abusing a patient at Connecticut's only maximum-security psychiatric hospital are claiming government immunity as a defense against a lawsuit filed by the patient's brother.

The staff members at the state-run Whiting Forensic Hospital in Middletown also deny wrongdoing in documents filed recently in federal court. And they claim any injuries the patient had were the result of his own wrongdoing.

Ten staff members have been criminally charged and more than three dozen suspended for allegedly abusing patient William Shehadi. A state report said he was subjected to numerous abuse instances last year, including being kicked and having food thrown at him.

Shehadi's brother is suing a dozen staff members in federal court, seeking undisclosed damages.  



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