KHI News Service
TOPEKA — A judge denied a state attorney’s change-of-venue request in a lawsuit that involves the 2011 death of a patient at Larned State Hospital.
Shawnee County District Court Judge Larry Hendricks ruled the case would remain in Shawnee County. The hearing lasted about 40 minutes.
Lawyers representing the hospital and two of its psychiatrists had asked that the proceedings be moved to Pawnee County, where Larned State Hospital is located.
The lawsuit was filed in August in Shawnee County by the family of Michael Lykins, a former Kansas State University football player who also coached football at Skyline High School.
Lykins hanged himself shortly after being admitted to the hospital on Sept. 6, 2011. He was 43.
Admissions to the state hospital are limited to patients who are seriously mentally ill and thought to be a danger to themselves or others. Most of the admissions are court-ordered.
In the lawsuit, Lykins’ son, daughter, and father accuse hospital officials of not doing enough to prevent Michael Lykins’ suicide.
Michael Lykins’ father, Dan Lykins, is an attorney and a former member of the Kansas Board of Regents. He lives in Topeka.
Attorneys for both the Lykins’ family and the hospital said they expect the proceedings to advance to the “discovery phase.” A trial date has not been set.