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

Lorne Lake, 69, is urging local, provincial and federal governments to find ways to do whatever it takes to make sure smaller cities have the medical help they need. He is currently without a family doctor. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Doctor shortage weighing heavily on Williams Lake senior

Lorne Lake said it is up to the City, provincial and federal governments to find ways to attract doctors

Canadian Mental Health Association Cariboo Chilcotin Branch homeless outreach worker Wayne Lucier said there is no affordable housing presently available in Williams Lake. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Lack of affordable housing concerning for agencies tackling homelessness in Williams Lake

Agencies in town are stretched and our resources are not infinite

Laurel White, Boys and Girls Club of Williams Lake and District harm reduction co-ordinator holds a fentanyl drug testing strip. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake drug overdoses triple in September

Total overdose call volume has already surpassed the last few years

Over the years, Janice Blackie-Goodine’s home in Summerland has featured elaborate Halloween displays and decorations each October. (File photo)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about Halloween?

Oct. 31 is a night of frights. How much do you know about Halloween customs and traditions?

FILE - In this Jan. 23, 1987 file photo, actor Sean Connery holds a rose in his hand as he talks about his new movie “The Name of the Rose” at a news conference in London. Scottish actor Sean Connery, considered by many to have been the best James Bond, has died aged 90, according to an announcement from his family. (AP Photo/Gerald Penny, File)
Actor Sean Connery, the ‘original’ James Bond, dies at 90

Oscar-winner was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2000

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

Michelle Stoney carved this pumpkin on Wednesday, Oct. 28 at her brother's home where their family gathers each year to carve pumpkins for Halloween. (Michelle Stoney, Gitxsan Artist Facebook photo)
Gitxsan artist carves culture in Halloween pumpkin

Michelle Stoney spent more than three hours on her latest holiday creation

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

This house at 414 Royal Ave. became notorious for its residents’ and visitors’ penchant for attracting police. It was also the site of a gruesome torture in August 2018. It was demolished in 2019. KTW
6-year sentence for Kamloops man who helped carve ‘rat’ into flesh of fellow gang member

Ricky Dennis was one of three men involved in the August 2018 attack

Cpl. Nathan Berze, media officer for the Mission RCMP, giving an update on the investigation at 11:30 a.m., Oct. 30. Patrick Penner photo.
VIDEO: Prisoner convicted of first-degree murder still at large from Mission Institution

When 10 p.m. count was conducted, staff discovered Roderick Muchikekwanape had disappeared

Among the pumpkin carvings created this year by Rick Chong of Abbotsford is this tribute to fallen officer Cont. Allan Young.
Abbotsford pumpkin carver’s creations include fallen police officer

Rick Chong carves and displays 30 pumpkins every year

Most Read