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Jurors decide treatment center not at fault for suicide

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Manning Family Recovery Center is not at fault for the 2015 suicide of an 18-year-old Griswold man who was involuntarily committed for a mental health examination after he assaulted his sister, according to court records.

Zayne Michael Dolph hanged himself at the center, which is part of Manning Regional Healthcare Center in Manning, in February 2015 with his belt and other clothing, according to a lawsuit his family filed in district court.

Dolph was arrested early that month for allegedly punching his sister several times at their mother’s house, where he was not allowed, according to a criminal complaint.

Dolph was a senior at Griswold Community High School, and he was homeless at the time, court records show.

Dolph “was found to be seriously mentally impaired and likely to injure himself or others” while he was held at the Cass County jail, and he was taken to the recovery center, according to the lawsuit. The lawsuit alleged he told several people there that he planned to kill himself, and that the center’s employees failed to adequately supervise him and failed to take his belt, clothing and other personal items that he used to kill himself.

However, two social workers and a physician’s assistant who evaluated Dolph at the center reported that Dolph denied having suicidal thoughts, court records show. He wrote a letter to a woman three days before the suicide that gave no indication he planned to end his life.

“Dolph’s letter was optimistic and showed that he was forward thinking,” according to court records.

The lawsuit went to trial Sept. 24 and ended with a jury’s verdict on Wednesday that the recovery center was not at fault for Dolph’s death.

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