The Estate of Nicholas Carusillo v. Metro Atlanta Recovery Residences, Inc., Richard Waldman, M.D.; and Matt Erwin.
Verdict for a Psychiatric Malpractice Case.
This case involved the death of a young man on September 22, 2017. Nick Carusillo was 29 and had been forced to leave a dual-diagnosis mental health and drug treatment facility 60 hours before his death. He had been diagnosed as bipolar when he was 20. He also had a long history of substance abuse.
The psychiatrist at MARR did not believe Nick was truly bipolar and he stopped Nick’s lithium cold turkey and reduced his Seroquel to a non-therapeutic level. Three weeks later, MARR forced Nick to leave, against his will, because Nick allegedly violated a rule by having an unauthorized cell phone.
At that point, Nick was already de-compensating and despite MARR saying he needed a higher level of care, they sent him to a lower level of care (sober house). He begged to stay and his parents begged he be allowed to stay but MARR refused.
Two days later, Nick, while in a psychotic state, walked onto Interstate 85 at 4:00 am and laid down naked in the fetal position facing traffic and was hit by multiple cars and killed.
The defense said it was suicide. We said it was a psychotic break caused by the doctor taking him off his medications and the facility forcing him to leave against his will such that he was no longer in a safe place. The autopsy toxicology screen was clean.
There was gross misconduct in the days after his death in terms of MARR creating records and dating the records to look like they had been written while he was still at MARR. But Audit trails don’t lie. We were able to probe their bad faith in this case.
After a 14-day trial in a 5-year-long litigation case, a DeKalb County jury loudly declared that mental health matters and that treatment facilities that are negligent will be held accountable. The final jury verdict was a total award of about $77.5 million.
Sofía v. Construction Company
Truck and Motorcycle Vehicle Accident
Sofía (not her real name) was the mother of 2 children when she lost her life, after she was hit by a commercial motor vehicle while traveling as a passenger on a motorcycle.
We filed a lawsuit against the company for the both the driver’s negligent actions and the company’s negligence in not properly maintaining their commercial motor vehicle. During the litigation, we requested all maintenance records, hired the necessary experts, and made all the necessary inquiries in order to maximize our client’s recovery. During our investigation, we were able to verify that the truck’s brakes had an air leak and did not allow the driver to stop in time. Companies with commercial vehicles are required to keep their vehicles in good condition, and to have a record of the service history of their units. As a results of our efforts, we were able to get the company to compensate our clients $9,250,000.00 for Sofia’s wrongful death.
Marcela v. Commercial Motor Vehicle Company
Commercial Truck Accident
Marcela (not her real name) was the mother of 4 children when the car she was traveling in was hit by a commercial motor vehicle. Tragically, Marcela lost her life and her children were left motherless. We filed suit on behalf of her children to hold the trucking company accountable for their negligence. We retained several experts and were able to prove that the tractor trailer was driving at an excessive rate of speed and caused the collision which resulted in our client’s untimely death.
A few weeks before a scheduled jury trial, the company agreed to compensate our clients in the amount of $8,500,000.00 to resolve their claims.
Méndez v. Apartment Complex
Armed robbery injuries in Apartment Complex.
Our client was a victim of an armed robbery in the common areas of a metro Atlanta apartment complex. Mr. Méndez (not his real name) was shot multiple times in his stomach causing serious intestinal injuries and lifelong consequences.
After almost 5 years of litigation, we were able to prove that the property owner was not fulfilling its duty to keep their premises safe. During the litigation, we were able to demonstrate that the property owners were aware of a series of armed robberies and other extensive criminal activity on their premises without the owners taking any action to improve the security of their premises.
Although the victim moved to Latin America prior to the trial, we were able to continue prosecuting his case on his behalf. Shortly before trial, the insurers for the property agreed to pay $3,000,000.00 in compensation to our client.
Cervantes v. Apartment Complex
The client suffered a violent sexual assault at the apartment complex during a Memorial Day weekend holiday. As she was walking past the complex, the assailant assaulted and robbed her, then forced her back into the apartment complex, where he proceeded to sexually assault her. The firm brought claims of both negligence and nuisance. After showing that multiple violent crimes had occurred on the property, and that the complex did nothing to prevent or deter criminal activity, the firm survived several legal motions and the case was set for trial on her nuisance claim. The case settled for $1.6 million prior to trial.
Patel v. US Film Company
The client was in a parking lot walking to his car one evening after visiting with his daughter when he was struck by a pickup truck. The driver had fallen asleep while driving, crossed four lanes of traffic and struck him in the parking lot. The case involved multiple out of state defendants resulting in a transfer of venue from New Jersey to Georgia. The client suffered multiple injuries including a head injury that resulted in traumatic brain injury. The defendants were involved in a television video shoot and the driver had been working 14+ hour days before falling asleep while driving. The case settled at mediation for $1.475 million.
Ofelia C. v. Truck Company
This trucking case involved a driver hit by a truck driving backwards in a parking lot. The plaintiff suffered debilitating back injuries after being hit head-on by the truck going in reverse. The defendants contended that they were driving safely and that the plaintiff was at fault. Using the company’s own safety manual and standard trucking guidelines, the firm demonstrated that the driver had not followed proper safety procedures, and that there was 8ample room for the driver to have turned the truck around instead. The firm demonstrated that the injury had caused permanent damage to the injured client. The case settled for $850,000 after mediation.
Chhetri v. Michelin
On March 22, 2011, 50 year-old Mr. Kharka Chhetri, died after the vehicle in which he was riding experienced a failure of a defective tire. Mr. Chhetri was traveling on I-75 south near Forsyth, Georgia, along with 14 other passengers, all of whom were on their way to work in Perry, Georgia. The tread separation caused the driver of the van to lose control of the vehicle, causing the van to roll over several times. Unfortunately, Mr. Chhetri was ejected from the van and died as a result of his injuries.
We filed a lawsuit and litigated the case through trial. During the lengthy trial, we demonstrated to the jury that Defendant Michelin North America, Inc. negligently designed and manufactured the defective tire that failed. We also proved that Michelin knew, or should have known, that the tire was defective and dangerous, and that Michelin failed to warn the public of this danger, showing a conscious indifference to the consequences and warranting an award of punitive damages. Michelin argued that its tire was not defectively designed or manufactured.
After the trial concluded, the jury returned a verdict for our client and awarded $16,520,000 in damages for his wrongful death.
In 2015, we represented the parents of 16-year-old Chase Benton, who was killed in a collision with a dump truck. Mr. Benton had stopped at a stop sign when his small pickup was broadsided by a dump truck driven by Mr. Landress. After being struck by Landress, Mr. Benton’s pickup hit another vehicle and caught fire.
At trial we were able to show that the driver of the dump truck had amphetamine and methamphetamine in his system. The drug Landress was taking, Didrex, is an addictive temporary weight loss medication that is supposed to be taken for only two or three weeks. We were able to prove that Landress had been taking that medication for nearly three years. After significant investigation, we also were able to prove that the brakes on the truck were defective, and that the truck should have been out of service.
After a week long trial, the jury return a verdict in favor for of our client in the amount of $8,400,000.00 for the wrongful death of Chase Benton.
Vilma Perez (Not the Real Name of The Plantiff)
In 2014, we represented Ms. Perez in a slip and fall accident that occurred in a fast food establishment. Our client was a mother of three and a wife of 19 years. While eating lunch at the restaurant, Ms. Perez stood up to get a refill on her drink. Unbeknownst to her, immediately before standing up, an employee of the restaurant had mopped the area in which Ms. Perez had to traverse. The employee failed to follow proper company protocols to put a yellow sign warning of wet floors. Our client was unable to see the wet floor, due to the lighting conditions, and she slipped and fell on her buttocks. The fall caused our client to have a herniated disc in her spine which required surgical intervention.
With a trial date set for the case, the restaurant chose to pay a reasonable settlement to our client. We were able to get the company to pay a settlement of $1,375,000.00 to compensate our client for her injuries.