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Plaintiff: Glenna Lewis, representing the estate of Mark Anthony Harris
Defendant: D.C. government, St. Elizabeths employee Calvin Green
Damages: $23 million, plus punitive damages, interest, and costs
Complaint: Harris had been involuntarily committed to St. Elizabeths Hospital. On Jan. 7 this year, according to the complaint, he was “accosted and viciously restrained” by poorly trained hospital employees, which caused him to have a heart attack. He was then transported to Greater Southeast Community Hospital, where, after experiencing “conscious excruciating pain and suffering,” he died. “Such a death,” the complaint reads, “was as a direct and proximate result of the total disregard for the safety of patients housed at St. Elizabeth’s hospital which was and continues to be displayed by the District of Columbia.” Lewis, Harris’ mother, is seeking damages for civil-rights, negligence, and wrongful death claims.
Quality of Representation: Attorneys Geralyn R. Lawrence and Gregory Lattimer have written a straightforward, concise, if not quite thoroughly documented complaint. One thing, though: Who is Calvin Green? None of the counts in the complaint mention who he is or what he has to do with Harris’ death. Oh, and guys: There’s no apostrophe in St. Elizabeths.
Summary Judgment: At least they didn’t bill him for the ambulance ride. At this point, St. E’s malfeasance is nothing new to Suit Yourself. But look at the bright side, Ms. Lewis: Another patient, Frank Harris, gouged his eyes out and the mayor’s office sent him a bill for more than $2 million in medical costs. So at least there’s that. But just in case they do decide to bill you, we’re giving you a nice big payday: judgment for plaintiff.