Robert Hadley Jan. 4, 2016, 12:44pm

CHICAGO – The estate of a Cook County man suffering from schizophrenia is suing a Chicago care facility, alleging wrongful death after he was found dead in sub-freezing temperatures.

Edna Thigpen, independent administrator of the estate of Melvin Smith, filed a lawsuit Dec. 23 in Cook County Circuit Court against The Thresholds, Thresholds Housing Inc., Rowan Trees Apartments Inc., Thresholds-Diplomat LLC and Rowan Trees, alleging negligence and wrongful death.

According to the complaint, The Thresholds, in Chicago, provided mental health treatment for Melvin Smith, a man with a 30-year history of schizophrenia. On Dec. 23, 2013, the suit says, Smith went missing after workers for The Thresholds, who transported him to and from his home for therapy, left him unattended. 

His body was discovered Dec. 24, 2013, the suit states, after he spent the night outdoors in sub-freezing temperatures.

Thigpen seeks damages of more than $50,000. She is represented by attorney David R. Centracchio of Gordon & Centracchio LLC in Chicago.

Cook County Circuit Court Case number 2015-L012933

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