December 2018

Jeffrey W. Colman, Esq. secured a defense verdict on behalf of his client, a board-certified Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist, after a seven-week jury trial in Middlesex Superior Court.  Plaintiff’s counsel had been seeking $52 Million in compensatory damages on behalf of the beneficiaries of the estate.  The case arose from the alleged wrongful death of a 15-year old girl who had run away from a residential, community-based treatment facility.  Her body was subsequently recovered from a nearby river several weeks later.  The Medical Examiner deemed that the cause of death was suicide.  The client was both the Medical Director of the facility and the resident’s treating psychiatrist.  It was alleged that the residential staff had failed to recognize warning signs that the resident was going to elope from the facility, as well as failing to appropriately monitor and/or supervise the resident.  Contrary to Plaintiff’s counsel’s assertions, expert testimony was provided to demonstrate that the psychiatrist fully and completely complied with the applicable standard of care in her dual roles as both the Medical Director and as the Staff Psychiatrist and that nothing that she did or failed to do was the cause of this unfortunate and tragic event.  The jury deliberated for two days before returning a verdict on all counts in favor of his client.