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

Youth across B.C. took part in the Student Vote. In Cariboo Chilcotin BC Green Party David Laing got the most votes and in Cariboo North BC NDP Party Scott Elliott emerged the winner.  (Student Vote photo)
BC Student Vote 2020: Green Party wins Cariboo Chilcotin, NDP wins Cariboo North

Student vote for Cariboo ridings has different outcomes than general voting

School District 27 will be hosting a virtual town hall with Interior Health Authority on Wednesday, Oct. 28. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
SD27, Interior Health hosting virtual town hall

It will be the second session to give parents an update

Up to 10 centimetres of snow were expected on Highway 97 from Clinton to Begbie Summit and in 100 Mile House on Oct.24. (Kelly Sinoski photo, 100 Mile Free Press)
More sand, plow trucks coming to region

More plows and brine trucks will be operating on the Highway 97 corridor this winter.

FILE – Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides the latest update on the COVID-19 pandemic in the province during a press conference in the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, October 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. shatters COVID-19 records with 817 weekend cases; masks now expected indoors

Three people have died over the past three reporting periods

The ‘new normal’ for hockey parents in Chilliwack and elsewhere in B.C., watching their kids from outside of the arena due to COVID-19 protocols. (Submitted photo)
Chilliwack hockey parents petition to be let back in the arena

Refused access due to pandemic protocols, parents are now applying pressure to loosen the rules

Aaliyah Rosa. File photo
Crown says murder of B.C. girl, 7, by accused mother was planned, deliberate

The trial of KerryAnn Lewis began Monday in New Westminster

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Commissioner Austin Cullen listens to introductions before opening statements at the Cullen Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering in British Columbia, in Vancouver, on February 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. money laundering inquiry hears of $800,000 and more in bags, luggage, backpacks

The lottery corporation has said it consistently reported suspicious transactions to Fintrac

Some of the characters in the League of Legends video game. (Photo: na.leagueoflegends.com)
E-sports trial at B.C. high schools to start with ‘League of Legends’ team game

For fall launch, Vancouver’s GameSeta company partners with BC School Sports

Most Read