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D.C. Government pays $650,000 to guardian of mental patient who gouged eyes out, going blind.

The District of Columbia Government will pay $650,000 to the family of a patient in exchange for the dismissal of a $10 million lawsuit, the Associated Press reported October 11. As part of the agreement, the District will forgive $2.2 million in medical costs incurred by Harris.

The guardian of Frank Harris, Jr. filed suit against St. Elizabeths Hospital in the District for improper care after Harris gouged his eyes out in 2003. Harris was schizophrenic and was to wear restraints by court order. The family argued Harris wasn’t properly supervised. Harris was committed to the hospital in 1973 and is still a patient there.<.p>

Hospital Was Standard Bearer for Federal Psychiatric Care

St. Elizabeths was the first, federally-run, psychiatric hospital in the United States, according to Wikipedia. At its peak around World War II, the hospital campus housed 7,000 patients and employed 4,000 people.

Presidential assassin Charles Guiteau was housed at St. Elizabeths until he was executed in 1882 for the murder of President James Garfield. Would-be presidential assassin John Hinckley has been committed to St. Elizabeths for the attempted murder of President Ronald Reagan in 1981.

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