$1.6 Million Jury Verdict for Suicide Leap That Could Have Been Prevented

When a 45-year-old man was admitted to St. Elizabeth Hospital for a gastrointestinal problem, he was known to be an alcohol abuser. His physician noted the possibility of detoxification symptoms on the patient’s chart.

A visiting family member told the nurse on duty that the patient seemed agitated and nervous and asked her to look after him. The nurse did not respond until she heard noises from the room, but by that time, the man, who was banging on the windows, broke through and leaped to his death.

His wife and four children were represented in the case by the firm, who argued that the nurse did not thoroughly read the man’s chart, and did not follow the family’s request.

A jury verdict in Union County Superior Court awarded the family $1.3 million, plus prejudgment interest of $300,000, for a total award of approximately $1.6 million.