Ximenes-Lopes v. Brazil

Inter-Am. Ct. H.R. (ser. C) No. 149 (2006)

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Ximenes-Lopes v. Brazil

Inter-American Court of Human Rights
Inter-Am. Ct. H.R. (ser. C) No. 149 (2006)

Facts

Three days after being admitted to a private mental-health clinic, Damiao Ximenes-Lopes (plaintiff) was found by his mother, bleeding, bruised, and filthy with his hands bound. Ximenes-Lopes’s mother alerted the director of the clinic to her son’s condition, but the director did not examine Ximenes-Lopes and simply prescribed medicine for him before the director left the clinic. After a few hours, Ximenes-Lopes died. There was no doctor at the clinic when Ximenes-Lopes died. Ximenes-Lopes was subject to violence and mistreatment by staff and patients alike, which was a common occurrence at the facility. The institution was under contract with Brazil (defendant) for the provision of services to the mentally ill. Ximenes-Lopes’s autopsy revealed trauma possibly resulting from a blunt object or perhaps several bumps and falls. When Ximenes-Lopes’s family was unable to have his death investigated, secure criminal prosecutions, or receive compensation, Ximenes-Lopes’s sister submitted a petition to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (the commission). The commission found that there were multiple violations of the Inter-American Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (the convention). The commission referred the matter to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (the court) to ascertain if Brazil could be held accountable for the violations of the convention, including Ximenes-Lopes’s inhumane treatment and death.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Per curiam)

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