DES MOINES — Relatives of an Iowa man who died in a state mental institution in September are upset that officials failed to disclose that a mistake by staff members may have caused his death.
Dana Vasey told the Des Moines Register her family may not have known the circumstances of Dick Meredith’s death if the newspaper hadn’t reported in November on an $8,250 fine that the Clarinda Mental Health Institute received.
Inspectors criticized the institute’s staff for giving a peanut butter sandwich to a resident who had trouble swallowing. That led to a severe choking incident and the resident’s death on Sept. 1.
Vasey said she had to make numerous calls before officials acknowledged that the death was of her 82-year-old uncle, who choked after receiving the wrong food. She remains angry at the people who cared for Meredith.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Human Services declined to discuss the incident with the newspaper because officials won’t discuss individual cases publicly. — AP
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