SF General mental patient died in 14-story plunge
A woman found dead after she went missing from San Francisco General Hospital last year apparently killed herself by jumping from the roof of a 14-story building under construction in Lower Pacific Heights, according to the medical examiner’s report on her death.
While the death of 36-year-old Haneefah Nuriddin on May 1, 2015, was reported last year, the fact that she had been lost while committed to SFGH for mental health treatment was undisclosed until Wednesday, when her family filed a lawsuit against The City.
The case is reminiscent of another patient who went missing from SFGH in 2013 — Lynne Spalding, who was in the hospital for treatment of an infection and was found dead in a hospital stairwell 17 days after she disappeared. Her family settled a claim against the city for $3 million.
Nuriddin had a history of mental health problems, including schizophrenia, and had been treated for schizophrenia 10 times in the three years before her death. She was admitted to the hospital’s psychiatric unit on March 5, 2015, after she was found mentally incompetent to stand trial for an October arrest for battery, according to the medical examiner’s report.
At about 1:30 p.m. on April 30, while in the hospital’s custody, Nuriddin was taken to an eye appointment in another area of the hospital.
While waiting to be seen she ran away, according to the report.
Hospital staff filed a missing person’s report with San Francisco police at about 7:30 p.m. that night, according to the family’s lawsuit.
Nuriddin remained missing until she was found dead the next morning.
Work crews returning to a construction site at 1450 Franklin St. found Nuriddin dead when they showed up for work at about 7 a.m. on May 1.
They were doing a daily perimeter check and found her on the exterior scaffolding on the fourth floor of the 14-story building, according to the medical examiner’s report.
The 67-unit condominium complex was framed but lacked exterior and interior walls. Two stairwells allowed access to the building’s roof, 100 feet up from where Nuriddin was found.
Her black hooded jacket was torn and snagged on a vertical post supporting the scaffolding. Her shoes were found several feet away, and her arm had been severed and was lying several inches from the top of her head.
She had a gaping 3-inch wound on her forehead. The medical examiner’s office concluded she had died from blunt force trauma after jumping off the roof.
There was no evidence of drugs in her system aside from the medication she was taking.
Nuriddin’s family is seeking unspecified damages against the city for negligence in not providing her with proper medical or custodial care, leading to her death, among other allegations.
Attorneys for the family wrote in the lawsuit:
“Ms. Nuriddin leaves behind a grieving father and family, who are haunted by the knowledge of her horrific and untimely death.”