Nev. Mom Killed Son, 6, and Herself by Starting House Fire — Now Dad Is Suing Psychiatric Hospital

Sean James Murray's attorneys allege his son's mother was released from a psychiatric hospital despite being a danger to herself and others

Gavin Murray Palmer
Photo: GoFundMe

A Nevada father has filed a lawsuit against a psychiatric hospital, alleging the facility prematurely discharged the mother of his child one week before she set a fire, killing herself and their 6-year-old boy.

KTNV, KSNV and the Las Vegas Review-Journal all report that the lawsuit was filed this week, and alleges negligence by the staff and administration at the Spring Mountain Treatment Center in Las Vegas.

The lawsuit alleges Renai Palmer, 47, was discharged from the treatment facility a week early, “despite a propensity to harm herself and/or others,” reports KSNV — citing the filing by attorneys for Sean James Murray.

The suit alleges that Renai Palmer had been placed on a “Legal 2000” hold last fall, after being deemed a clear and present danger to herself and others, according to KTNV.

Nevada law mandates patients can be released after 72 hours, should officials determine they are no longer a threat. The law also states patients can be held indefinitely for treatment.

The lawsuit alleges Spring Mountain Treatment Center “failed to provide appropriate care and treatment to the decedent, Renai Leilani Palmer, by discharging her from treatment despite a propensity to harm herself and/or others.”

Gavin Murray Palmer

A week later, on October 8, 2019, Palmer locked herself and Gavin Murray Palmer, the son she shared with Murray, in a bedroom in her parent’s home, and started a fire.

The suit explains that Murray dropped Gavin off with Renai on October 6.

The Review-Journal reached out to the Spring Mountain Treatment Center, who replied in an email: “This is a tragic story and our hearts go out to all involved. However, Spring Mountain Treatment Center did not admit an individual in 2019 under this name.”

The Center did not immediately return PEOPLE’s request for comment.

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Murray’s law firm responded that the allegations in the lawsuit were based on “the information available to us. … We will continue to investigate and if need be correct the allegations.”

Murray and Palmer shared custody of Gavin, but had not been a couple for five years.

Murray’s lawsuit is seeking more than $45,000 in damages.

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