The parents of Samwel Uko have opened legal proceedings against the Saskatchewan Health Authority and the Saskatchewan provincial government related to their sons death by suicide.

The parents of Samwel Uko have opened legal proceedings against the Saskatchewan Health Authority and the Saskatchewan provincial government related to their sons death by suicide.

Family of dead B.C. football star sues Saskatchewan government

Parents of Samwel Uko, who died by suicide in May, file statement of claim seeking damages

The family of former Abbotsford Panthers football star Samwel Uko have opened legal proceedings against the Saskatchewan Health Authority and the Government of Saskatchewan.

In a statement of claim issued on Friday (Oct. 16) by Regina-based lawyer Tony Merchant, Uko’s parents and Abbotsford residents Taban Daudau Uko and Joice Guya Issa Bakando are seeking damages for bereavement, grief counselling and loss of future financial support.

Uko died by suicide in Wascana Lake, Sask. at the age of 20 on May 21.

RELATED: Officials looking for answers after Abbotsford football star found dead in Sask. lake

The claim explains that Uko, who was visiting family in Regina, requested that his cousin take him to Regina General Hospital on the morning of May 21 after he was experiencing mental health issues. A nurse at RGH told the cousin he could not accompany Uko inside the hospital due to COVID-19 restrictions.

A doctor at RGH then diagnosed Uko with depression and referred him to a mental health clinic. Uko was in contact with a mental health worker later that morning and booked an appointment with a psychiatrist within a week. He was also told that he should contact a community outreach and support team or go back to the emergency room if he felt worse.

Uko began suffering from mental health issues at around 5 p.m. later that day and was taken to RGH for the second time, this time by the police. Shortly after arriving at RGH he was escorted out of the hospital by security for not being able to provide his name and other information.

His lifeless body was then discovered in the lake that evening at around 7:30 p.m.

RELATED: Abbotsford football star Samwel Uko dies at age 20

The claim adds that Uko met with at least four different nurses and one doctor during his two visits to RGH.

According to the statement, the SHA is liable for the emotional distress and loss caused by RGH employees and was negligent by not ensuring polices and best practices when treating patients with mental health issues were being followed or up to par.

“The SHA, through its agents and employees, failed to provide the requisite medical treatment and healthcare through facilities and programs controlled, administered or funded by Saskatchewan to Samwel who sought treatment for his mental health issues, not once, but on two occasions in a matter of hours,” the statement reads.

The statement also says that this type of negligence by the healthcare industry is intolerable and that Canadians should not allow this type of treatment for mentally ill patients.

“Saskatchewan failed to protect Samwel, who struggled with mental health issues in his most vulnerable state, from the institutional negligence prevalent in the exercise of the health care policies and practices,” the statement of claim reads.

In June it was announced that an inquest into Uko’s death by the Saskatchewan government would be held.

Then in July the SHA formally apologized to the Uko family and stated they had failed him.

RELATED: ‘We failed him:’ Saskatchewan health officials sorry over Abbotsford man’s drowning death

The allegations in the claim have not yet been proven in court.

The statement of claim is to be served within six months of the date it was issued (Oct. 16, 2020).

abbotsfordSaskatchewan

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Northern Health saw 14 cases in one day earlier this week, the highest in one day since the beginning of the pandemic. (Image courtesy CDC)
Northern Health sees highest number of COVID-19 cases in one day

There have been 23 cases of reported cases of COVID-19 in the Nechako Lakes Health Area

’Herbert’ Shane Hartman with his daughter Isla. (Shane Hartman Facebook photo)
Love for daughter and drumming leads to author’s first book

Shane Hartman spent very spare moment writing and illustrating Isla’s New Drum

“We have to make a call out to address this now so our people don’t have to feel fearful,” said Tribal Chief Mina Holmes. (Carrier Sekani Tribal Council Facebook photo)
Carrier Sekani Tribal Council seeks Indigenous-led task force in northern B.C. hospitals

Request made in an open letter to federal minister Carolyn Bennett

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

A woman wears a face mask and plastic gloves while browsing books as a sticker on the floor indicates a one-way direction of travel between shelves of books at the Vancouver Public Library’s central branch, after it and four other branches reopened with limited services, in Vancouver, on Tuesday, July 14, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
B.C. reports 234 new COVID cases, 1 death of senior who had attended small birthday party

Roughly 5,700 people are isolating due to being exposed to a confirmed case

Burnaby RCMP responded to a dine-and-dash suspect who fell through a ceiling in March 2020. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Suspected dine-and-dasher falls through ceiling of Burnaby restaurant

A woman believed to be dashing on her restaurant bill fell through the kitchen ceiling

A can of Canada Dry Ginger Ale is shown in Toronto on Thursday Oct. 29, 2020. The maker of Canada Dry Ginger Ale has agreed to pay over $200,000 to settle a class-action lawsuit launched by a B.C. man who alleged he was misled by marketing suggesting the soda had medicinal benefits. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Joseph O’Connal
B.C. man’s lawsuit over marketing of Canada Dry ginger ale settled for $200K

Soda’s maker, Canada Dry Mott’s Inc., denied the allegations and any liability

Vancouver Island-based Wilson’s Transportation has expanded to fill some of the routes left unserviced by Greyhound as of Nov. 1, 2018. (Black Press files)
B.C. bus companies say they need help to survive COVID-19

Like airlines, motor coaches have lost most of their revenue

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A deer was spotted in October 2020 in Prince Rupert, B.C., with a bright pink yoga ball stuck in its antlers. (Kayla Vickers/Chronicles Of Hammy The Deer Official Page)
Hammy 2.0? Prince Rupert deer spotted with bright pink yoga ball stuck in antlers

The BC Conservation Officer Service is aware of the deer roaming around the city

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Kelowna Mountie hit with 2nd lawsuit in 2 months for alleged assault

Const. Julius Prommer is accused of breaking a woman’s knee during while responding to a noise complaint

Hirdeypal Batth, 24, has been charged with sexual assault and forcible confinement in relation to an incident in August 2020. (VPD handout)
Man, 24, charged with sex assault after allegedly posing as Uber driver in Vancouver

Investigators believe there could be more victims outside of the Vancouver area

B.C. Premier John Horgan and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee arrive for annual Cascadia conference in Vancouver, Oct. 10, 2018. They have agreed to coordinate the permanent switch to daylight saving time. (B.C. government)
B.C. still awaiting U.S. approval to eliminate daylight saving time

Clocks going back one hour Nov. 1 in Washington too

Most Read