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Lawsuit alleges doctor, hospital negligence in suicide of Glen Cove police lieutenant

Glen Cove Lt. Ralph Bruschini committed suicide last

Glen Cove Lt. Ralph Bruschini committed suicide last January with his service revolver and his widow is suing her late husband's doctor and North Shore University Hospital, claiming they were negligent in his medical care and responsible for his death, a lawsuit alleges. Credit: Howard Schnapp

A Glen Cove police lieutenant's widow claims her husband committed suicide last January with his service revolver after negligence by his doctor and North Shore University Hospital, alleging in a lawsuit it's as though they "pulled the trigger on the fatal shot."

Filed Friday in Mineola, the claim alleges a doctor for Glen Cove Police Lt. Ralph Bruschini was negligent in providing proper care during a four-month period as Bruschini suffered from depression and deteriorated physically.

Attorney Jeffrey Lisabeth, who filed the claim on behalf of Diane Bruschini, said Friday that an autopsy revealed later that her husband had been suffering from pancreatic cancer.

The lawsuit alleges Glen Cove physician Michael R. Deangelis failed to properly monitor Ralph Bruschini's mental condition and didn't do tests that would have diagnosed the cancer.

A message left at Deangelis' office Friday wasn't returned.

"If he knew his rapid deterioration was caused by a disease . . . he would have fought it," Lisabeth, of Mineola, said of the lieutenant. " . . . He certainly didn't have to go when and the way he did."

Bruschini died Jan. 10, 2014, which records show was just days before he would have marked 30 years of service to the city.

The lieutenant killed himself inside his police cruiser after driving to a Glen Cove park where he and his wife used to take their three children for picnics when they were little, Lisabeth said.

The lawsuit also alleges that after the doctor referred Bruschini to the Manhasset hospital on Jan. 1, 2014, when he was "in a psychiatric crisis," the hospital didn't remedy a perilous situation and discharged Bruschini with a handful of Xanax tablets after failing to have a psychiatric professional evaluate him.

However, a North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System official on Friday defended the hospital.

"As with most suicides, there are often many contributing factors that lead to such a tragic event. The hospital provided appropriate care during his emergency visit," hospital spokesman Terence Lynam said. "We understand the past year has been very difficult for the family and we extend our sincere condolences."

The lawsuit seeks an unspecified amount of monetary damages.

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