I have an unusual circumstance. I am the Postmaster of a small office. Of course, the PO is also a small gathering area for the community and many friendships are made. I have a customer who became a friend with a few people, including myself. This customer, named Bob, was down on his luck with a supposed disease. Last week, he came in the office and called another customer outside. Here he told this customer that he was going to commit suicide. He had tears in his eyes and the customer offered to take him to the VA.The customer came into the office and told everyone in there what Bob was going to do. I did not know if I should call 911 and report this. Knowing he only had relatives in the area, I called and left a message with them indicating the circumstances. Within an hour after that I saw the police and ambulance across the road at the apartment where Bob lives. I did NOT know exactly why they were there. Later that night, Bobs relatives called me at home and I explained everything and asked if they could look in on him. The next morning, the wife called me and said Bob was in the Va and getting help. Later during the day, the husband came in and said bob was in the suite in the VA. About a week later, Bob came in and was very apologetic and said he was embarrased. I told him I was told he was in the VA and glad he was getting help. He said he was not taken to the VA but to a hospital then another hospital. The later I know is a psychiatric hospital. He said he had taken a bottle of pills and that he had called 911.Now Bob has filed a customer complaint against me which I must answer. Did I do wrong?I mean, the threat of suiside was made on Postal property. For all I knew, he could have had a gun and decided to shoot himself right there. I tried to notify his only known relatives in the area hoping they could help.
State/Country relating to question: Pennsylvania
Tried to tell him I had his best interest in mind.
I do not know what he could file a complaint against you for, since there is no duty on you to not disclose the information and there is a moral duty for certain to report a suicide attempt and also to protect postal property from anyone committing suicide on the post office property. You are not someone covered by HIPAA, so you had no duty of confidentiality. Thus, I have no idea what he could possibly sustain against you for any wrongdoing, as according to your statements you really did not do anything that would be against any law.
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One other thing. He seems upset that I had said he was in the VA! As I had told him, this is what "HIS" relatives told me, I did not just dream it up. He said he could sue me for liable and slander. Yet I DID nothing but try to help him! When anyone would inquire about how he was doing, all I would say was that I was told he was in the VA. I said NOTHING liableous or slanderous against him. All I ever said was that I was happy he was getting help.
He cannot successfully sue you for saying he was in the VA, that is not libel or slander because it was not a known false statement and it did not cause him any harm.
Thank you.I must say that I am VERY upset over this.I only acted out of concern.
Thank you very much. I am sure you are upset as it is upsetting when someone you consider a friend does something like this to you. It is like they are looking for someone to blame for their own problems. Please do not forget to leave good service or great service feedback. Thank you.
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