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

A dose of COVID-19 vaccine is prepared at a vaccination clinic in Montreal’s Olympic Stadium on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

The total number of cases in the region since the pandemic began is now at 7,334

A rainbow shining on Kelowna General Hospital on May 12, 2020 International Nurses Day. (Steve Wensley - Prime Light Media)
New COVID cases trending down in Interior Health

24 new cases reported Thursday, Feb. 25, death at Kelowna General Hospital

From left: Councillor Lucy Taylor, Councillor Barry Banford, Councillor Bill Haring, Mayor Merlin Blackwell, Councillor Lynne Frizzle, Councillor Lyle Mckenzie and Councillor Shelley Sim. (District of Clearwater photo)
Council to consider raising taxes in 2021

The District of Clearwater council is considering a tax increase this year… Continue reading

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson)
30 new COVID-19 cases, five more deaths in Interior Health

This brings the total number of cases to 7,271 since testing began

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Doctors and counsellors warn of an increase in panic attacks, anxiety, depression and suicide ideas between ages 10 to 14, in Campbell River. ( Black Press file photo)
Extended pandemic feeding the anxieties of B.C.’s youth

Parents not sure what to do, urged to reach out for help

Kara Sorensen, diagnosed with lung cancer in July, says it’s important for people to view her as healthy and vibrant, rather than sick. (Photo courtesy of Karen Sorensen)
B.C. woman must seek treatment overseas for inoperable lung cancer

Fundraising page launched on Karen Sorensen’s behalf, with a goal of $250,000

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

The first of 11 Dash 8 Q400 aircraft's have arrived in Abbotsford. Conair Group Inc. will soon transform them into firefighting airtankers. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Conair begins airtanker transformation

Aerial firefighting company creating Q400AT airtanker in advance of local forest fire season

Most Read