Mobile, Alabama — On March 1, 2023, the personal injury law firm of Tobias & Comer Law, LLC obtained a $7 million jury verdict for a mentally incapacitated young man who was sexually assaulted while a patient at AltaPointe Health System, Inc.’s, BayPointe Children’s Psychiatric Hospital in Mobile, Alabama.
The assault occurred in November 2019 when another minor patient was unsupervised and entered the victim’s room where he remained for over 8 minutes behind a locked door. AltaPointe personnel walked in on the assault as it happened and placed the victim in a “timeout room” for 18 hours before transferring the victim for a sexual assault nursing examination at a local hospital.
The jury found that AltaPointe did not meet the standard of care necessary to protect a patient from sexual assault and neglect. Further, the jury found that AltaPointe violated the standard of care in its treatment of the patient in the hours after the attack.
“The jury saw the evidence that was presented and through its verdict found that AltaPointe’s conduct recklessly disregarded our client’s rights,” said attorney Bryan Comer. “AltaPointe breached the standard of care that was required under Alabama law. This verdict sends a strong message to the community that there are serious cracks in our mental healthcare system and that we need further discussion about the larger issue of mental health in our communities.”
The jury deliberated for 2-½ hours before the verdict was read in Mobile County Circuit Court. The jury unanimously decided for the plaintiff and awarded $3 million in compensatory damages and $4 million in punitive damages.
“The people of Alabama, and across the country, need to have assurance that their children are safe when seeking much-needed mental health care,” said attorney Lacey Smith. “What happened to our client should never happen to another child in AltaPointe’s care or anyone else’s. The punitive damages awarded by the jury, based on the evidence presented and the Court’s instruction on the law, confirm the serious nature of the facts of the case.”
Tobias & Comer Law, LLC, is a Mobile, Alabama-based personal injury law firm known for effective and compassionate representation for the injured. The firm has been successful in cases involving catastrophic injury and death, representing victims in all manner of personal injuries; maritime injury, wrongful death, defective products, trucking accidents, alcohol and drug related injuries, medical malpractice, automobile accidents, and premises liability. For more information, please visit www.tobiascomerlaw.com .
For more information:
Jennifer Evans, email@example.com