Lawsuit blames 2 suicides on suspended disability checks

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PIKEVILLE, Ky. (AP) – Family members of two people who killed themselves last year are suing the Social Security Administration, saying that the government’s decision to end disability checks for hundreds of eastern Kentucky residents played a substantial role in their deaths.

Media outlets report that attorneys filed a lawsuit Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Pikeville on behalf of John Daniel Jude and Emma Burchett.

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The lawsuit says Burchett’s husband, Leroy Burchett, and Jude’s wife, Melissa Jude, killed themselves in June after getting notice that their benefits would be suspended.

More than 1,000 of attorney Eric Conn’s clients received the letter after Conn was accused of colluding with a judge to rig Social Security cases.

Social Security Administration spokesman William Jarrett declined to comment.

A similar lawsuit filed on behalf of Emma Burchett against Conn was dismissed in July.

 

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press