Kuligoski v. Brattleboro RetreatAnnotate this Case
In 2010, E.R. was voluntarily admitted to the Psychiatric Department at Central Vermont Medical Center (CVMC) with a “psychotic disorder” after having threatened young children in his home. During his first few days at CVMC, E.R. was easily agitated, made threatening remarks, reported auditory hallucinations, was easily agitated, and had fair-to-poor judgment. The examining physician tentatively diagnosed E.R. with a schizophreniform disorder. This case arose out of the assault of Michael Kuligoski by E.R. after E.R. was discharged from another treatment facility, Brattleboro Retreat, and while he was undergoing outpatient treatment with Northeast Kingdom Human Services (NKHS). Plaintiff Carole Kuligoski, individually and on behalf of Michael, Mark Kuligoski, and James Kuligoski (collectively “plaintiffs”), filed suit against defendants Brattleboro Retreat and NKHS, raising claims of failure to warn of E.R.’s danger to others, failure to train E.R.’s parents in handling E.R., failure to treat, improper release, and negligent undertaking. The superior court granted defendants’ motions to dismiss for failure to state a claim, and plaintiffs appealed. After review, the Supreme Court reversed on the failure to warn and train claims, and affirmed on the failure to treat, improper release and negligent undertaking claims.