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Threats by SLS Residential Therapists Prompt Judge to Impose Sanctions | 24-7-news.com cialis online

Threats by SLS Residential Therapists Prompt Judge to Impose Sanctions

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A judge has  sanctioned  defendants named in a class action lawsuit against SLS Residential, LLC. Southern District Judge Stephen Robinson assessed $35,000 in penalties after he determined that 80 former patients  had been told by SLS therapists that their private medical records would be made public if they did not opt out of the lawsuit.

SLS runs two residential treatment centers in the town of Southeast, NY  for adolescents and young adults.  In addition to a class action lawsuit, SLS is facing revocation of its state operating licenses for the two facilities. The class action lawsuit, filed by two former SLS Residential patients, alleges that they were subjected to physical and mental abuse.   The lawsuit claims that SLS staff illegally employed manual restraints and put patients in isolation rooms where they were physically and emotionally abused, subjected patients to nightly searches of their bodies and rooms, and denied patients the right to refuse treatment, leave the facility or phone family members.  The complaint also charges SLS with discrimination under the Americans With Disabilities Act, and  claims patients were targeted for mistreatment because they were mentally disabled.

At a hearing held by Judge Robinson on July 8, a therapist who had worked at SLS for two years testified that its Chief Clinical Officer, Dr. Shawn Prichard, had called a meeting to discuss contacting the potential class action lawsuit plaintiffs and their families, and distributed a list of their names and phone numbers.

In addition to using threats to coerce  former patients into opting out of the class action lawsuit,  the callers contacted other institutions where some former SLS patients were being treated and tried to convince personnel at institutions to sign opt outs on their patients’ behalf.

“Under the guise of caring for their former patients, the defendants sought to capitalize on the potential plaintiffs’ vulnerability and discourage them from participating in the lawsuit.” Judge Robinson said. “This conduct is astounding to the court.”

In addition to the $35,000 Judge Robinson voided all of the opt-outs signed by potential plaintiffs, and ordered corrective notices to be mailed. He also ordered all the defendants to cease contact with the potential plaintiffs.

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