Record Verdict in Psychiatric Malpractice Case

Sep 1, 2022

Record $65 Million Verdict in Psychiatric Malpractice Case

Congratulations to our new law partner, Natalie Woodward, on her $65 Million Verdict in a psychiatric malpractice case on August 30. This is a fair and just result in an extremely hard-fought case.  The jury got the case yesterday, five years to the day after the Plaintiffs’ 29-year-old son was admitted to Metro Atlanta Recovery Residences for treatment of his bipolar disorder and substance abuse issues.  Unfortunately, shortly after his admission, the psychiatrist took him off his Lithium and he decompensated.  He was administratively discharged (essentially kicked out) for purported rule violations to a lower level of care.  He subsequently experienced a psychotic event that tragically resulted in his death.   The jury awarded $10 Million for the estate claim, and $55 Million for the full value of the life.

Judge Kimberly Anderson presided.  This was her first med mal case, and her first big civil trial, and it was a tough one.  She was thoughtful and gave full consideration to all of the complex issues, while letting the attorneys try their cases.  The jury was very attentive to the jury and completely engaged in the process from start to finish.

Natalie truly put her heart and soul into this case.  She believed in it from the start and advocated for this family and for all persons whose mental illness is not taken seriously. This verdict speaks volumes.  Retired State Court Judge Dax Lopez was our co-counsel on this case.   It took a real village and all of us are proud to have helped.  What a great first trial for Dax after coming off the bench!

Warshauer Woodward Atkins legal team who won record $77 million verdict in psychiatric malpractice case

Left to right are Zulma and Dax Lopez consulting attorneys; Jennifer Turner, paralegal at Warshauer Woodward Atkins, LLC; Natalie Woodward (lead attorney) and Lyle Warshauer, partners in Warshauer Woodward Atkins, LLC, and clients Mike and Tina Carusillo.

MARR was represented by James Looper and Heather Saum Ware of Hall Booth Smith; and the doctor was represented by Ted Lavender and Amy Hoffman of Lavender Hoffman Alderman.  A high-low was entered into with the doctor immediately after closing arguments.

The jury also checked yes to both punitive damages and attorneys’ fees and will return this afternoon to consider that evidence.  So, stay tuned!

 

UPDATE: An additional $12 Million in punitive damages and attorney fees were awarded on August 31, 2022

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