$77.5 Million Jury Verdict Including $1 Million in Punitive Damages in Negligent Patient Treatment

Nicholas Carusillo, 29, had a history of bipolar affective disorder, manic depression and substance abuse. After experiencing signs of mania and behavioral outbursts, he was admitted to an inpatient psychiatric unit. His medication, including Seroquel and lithium, were increased until his condition stabilized.

He was then discharged to Metro Atlanta Recovery Residences Inc. At the facility, Dr. Richard Waldman evaluated Carusillo and discontinued the lithium in addition to lowering the Seroquel dosage.

Carusillo’s longtime mental health provider was in contact with a Metro Atlanta staff member and explained that it was imperative for Carusillo to receive his medications. Nevertheless, Dr. Waldman lowered the Seroquel dosage once again.

A counselor then informed Carusillo’s parents that he had been taken off his medications completely and was being discharged. When the parents asked to speak to their son’s doctor, the counselor refused to give them the doctor’s name.

Carusillo was later discharged from the facility with no prescriptions for any medication. Three days later, he walked onto an interstate highway without any clothing and was struck and killed by several vehicles. He was survived by his minor child and parents.

Carusillo’s father, on behalf of his estate, sued Metro Atlanta Recovery Residences, Dr. Waldman and Matt Irwin, the counselor, alleging negligence and negligent training. The Carusillo family also sought punitive damages.

The jury signed a verdict for over $77.59 million including $1 million in punitive damages against Metro Atlanta.

At trial, the plaintiffs engaged experts in therapy, pharmacology and psychiatry.

The Carusillo attorneys representing the family in this tragic case were Natalie S. Woodward and Dax Lopez.

Carusillo v. Metro Atlanta Recovery Residences, Inc., No. 2019-A-73528-0 (Ga. DeKalb County St. Ct.).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling wrongful death lawsuits, medical negligence cases, birth injury lawsuits, cerebral palsy lawsuits, and traumatic brain injury lawsuits for individuals, families and loved ones who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of a medical provider for more than 45 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Burbank, Burr Ridge, Aurora, Elk Grove Village, Palatine, Mundelein, Bridgeview, Alsip, Romeoville, Oak Park, Evergreen Park, Chicago (South Side, Chatham, Auburn Gresham, Roseland, South Shore, Woodlawn, Hyde Park, Wrigleyville, South Loop, Near South Side, Near West Side, West Loop, West Town, Humboldt Park, Uptown, Wicker Park, Lincoln Park, Edgewater, Jefferson Park), Lincolnwood, Park Ridge, Bensenville, Elmhurst, and Brookfield, Ill.

Robert D. Kreisman has been an active member of the Illinois and Missouri bars since 1976.

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