BEAVER (KDKA) — Did employees at the Beaver County-owned Friendship Ridge cause the death of 40-year-old Lance Yocum of Ambridge when he was involuntarily admitted for treatment for a severe mental disability?

That’s what Yocum’s estate and family charge in a civil lawsuit now before the U.S. District Court of Western Pennsylvania.

While nobody is talking, the lawsuit claims that Friendship Ridge, a county nursing and rehab facility, and six employees denied the deceased a CPAP machine required for his apnea on the night of April 29, 2011, then gave him the wrong medications intended for someone else, followed by giving him his own prescription drugs, all of which worked to suppress his ability to breathe.

The supervising nurse is alleged to have told others “not to tell anyone else of this incident.”

After Yocum became dizzy and drowsy and nobody called for medical help, he died in the early morning of April 30.

The lawsuit is filed against the six employees, Beaver County and its facility, and Premiere Healthcare Resources, the suburban Philadelphia-based company that manages the facility.

Attorneys for the individuals involved, the facility and Beaver County have not yet filed their response to this civil complaint.

But KDKA’s Jon Delano did speak to the Beaver County solicitor who said the county is prepared to defend against the claims.

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