RETURN DATE: OCTOBER 26, 2010 JOHN DOE, Plaintiff, VS. GROVE SCHOOL, INC.

Defendant

: : : : : : : :

SUPERIOR COURT JUDICIAL DISTRICT OF NEW HAVEN AT NEW HAVEN

: SEPTEMBER 20, 2010

COMPLAINT FIRST COUNT (NEGLIGENCE) 1. At all times mentioned herein, the plaintiff JOHN DOE1 was a minor, with a date

of birth of March 2, 1991. He has now reached the age of majority. He is a resident of the Town of East Greenwich, Rhode Island. 2. At all times relevant to this Complaint, the defendant GROVE SCHOOL, INC.

was a Connecticut Corporation operating a private “therapeutic boarding school” located at 175 Copse Road in Madison, Connecticut, that provided residential educational and psychiatric services to adolescents with social and emotional difficulties. 3. At all times relevant to this Complaint, ANDREW POLLAK, was the agent, servant

and employee of the defendant GROVE SCHOOL and was acting within the scope of his employment.

To protect the plaintiff’s privacy, he is referred to as “John Doe.” An Ex Parte Application to Proceed under a pseudonym has been filed. 1

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4.

At all times relevant to this Complaint, ROBERT BURGETT was the agent,

servant and employee of the defendant GROVE SCHOOL and was acting within the scope of his employment. 5. At all times relevant to this Complaint, SEAN KURSAWE was the agent, servant

and employee of the defendant GROVE SCHOOL and was acting within the scope of his employment. 6. Prior to August, 2008, the plaintiff had been diagnosed with a number of

psychiatric illnesses, including bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, attention deficit disorder, and had been hospitalized on at least three occasions for treatment of his mental illnesses and related behavioral problems. He had expressed suicidal ideas on more than one occasion. He had not attended school since February, 2008. The plaintiff was taking a number of prescribed medications for his psychiatric illnesses. 7. Prior to August 20, 2008, the plaintiff applied for admission to the Grove School.

As part of the application process, the plaintiff and his parents submitted a written application and provided the Grove School with psychiatric and hospital records documenting the plaintiff’s psychiatric impairments and behavioral problems. 8. After reviewing the plaintiff’s medical, hospital, psychiatric and other records, the

Grove School determined that the plaintiff was appropriate for admission to its program, and that it could adequately and safely provide for the plaintiff’s educational and psychiatric needs.

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9.

On or about August 20, 2008, the defendant notified the plaintiff and his parents

that the plaintiff had been admitted to the school for the 2008-09 school year with a start date of September 11, 2008. As a condition of admission, the plaintiff and his parents were required to make a commitment for a minimum of 24 months. 10. The plaintiff and his parents agreed to the terms of admission offered by the

Grove School. 11. The tuition charged by the Grove School to the plaintiff and his parents was

$7800.00 per month. 12. Prior to September 11, 2008, the East Greenwich, Rhode Island, Board of

Education agreed to pay for the educational component of the tuition and fees charged by the Grove School, and the plaintiff’s parents agreed to pay for the remainder of the fees and expenses for his attendance. 13. On or about September 11, 2008, the plaintiff was admitted to the Grove School

and began participating in its mental health and educational programs. 14. During the first ten days of his attendance and residence at the Grove School,

the plaintiff had nine altercations with students and staff, and was observed by employees of the school engaging in all of the following behaviors: threatening to kill himself and run away from school; telling staff he was “stressed and overwhelmed,” cutting his arms, calling his

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mother and threatening to kill himself if she did not come and remove him from the school and talking about leaving the school if he had to repeat the tenth grade. 15. On September 21, 2008, ANDREW POLLAK was the Associate Director of the

behavioral management program at the Grove School. 16. On September 21, 2008, SEAN KURSAWE was the Assistant Principal of the

Gove School. 17. On September 21, 2008, ROBERT BURGETT was a teacher and Residential

Administrator at the Grove School. 18. When the plaintiff was admitted to the Grove School, a “New Admission” form

was completed which included an Intake Summary, Reason for Admission, Previous Diagnoses, Medications and other information. The “New Admission” form also included a section entitled “Special Procedures” that included the following: “Needs space to decompress” and “very fragile.” According to the New Admission form, copies were provided to KURSAWE and BURGETT but not to POLLAK. 19. During the afternoon of September 21, 2008, a Sunday, the plaintiff became

agitated and began calling his parents, asking them to pick him up. He refused to go to dinner. 20. KURSAWE went to the plaintiff’s residence, the “Green Cottage,” because the

plaintiff was using the telephone without permission. He observed the plaintiff packing his

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clothes and saying he was going to leave the school. He also heard the plaintiff tell his mother that he was going to kill himself if she did not come and pick him up. 21. KURSAWE told the plaintiff that he would call the police if the plaintiff left, which

increased the plaintiff’s agitation. The plaintiff then left his room and went into a bathroom, where he was able to lock himself inside, and continued to make phone calls to his parents. 22. BURGETT, who was also working that evening, demanded that the plaintiff give

him the cell phone. 23. 24. At that time, the defendant had no trained security staff on the premises. BURGETT and/or KURSAWE then called POLLAK, and reported that the

plaintiff was using another student’s cell phone to make calls to his parents. 25. school. 26. When POLLAK arrived at the school, he was not provided with any of the At that time, POLLAK was the “on call” administrator and agreed to come to the

documentation possessed by the Grove School about the plaintiff’s specific psychiatric diagnoses, behavioral history or the “special procedures” that were set forth in the plaintiff’s New Admission report. 27. suicide. However, POLLAK was asked to make an assessment of the plaintiff’s risk for

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28.

When POLLAK arrived, the plaintiff was still in the bathroom. BURGETT told the

plaintiff that POLLAK was going to assess him for suicidality. The plaintiff then walked out of the bathroom, cursed at POLLAK, went into his room and closed the door. 29. Rather than familiarizing himself with the plaintiff’s psychiatric and behavioral

history and specific treatment needs, POLLAK immediately began to forcibly open the door to the plaintiff’s room. A physical confrontation ensued, in which both the plaintiff and POLLAK sustained injuries. 30. the plaintiff. 31. As a direct result of the actions of POLLAK, BURGETT and KURSAWE, the POLLAK, BURGETT and KURSAWE participated in assaulting and restraining

plaintiff sustained a black eye, broken blood vessels in his right eye, a bloody nose, and bruises to his cheek, face and arms. 32. At the direction of POLLAK, BURGETT or KURSAWE then called the Madison

Police Department and reported that the plaintiff had assaulted POLLAK. 33. Officers of the Madison Police Department responded to the Grove School and

arrested the plaintiff, charging him with assault in the third degree. The plaintiff was then transported to Yale-New Haven Psychiatric Hospital by the police officers. 34. At all times relevant to this Complaint, the defendant had a duty to provide the

plaintiff with an appropriate and safe therapeutic residential treatment program.

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35. ways: A.

The defendant breached its duty to the plaintiff in one or more of the following

The defendant failed to properly hire, train and/or supervise its employees with respect to proper and appropriate Crisis Prevention Intervention techniques;

B.

The defendant failed to properly hire, train and/or supervise its employees with respect to the proper procedures for restraining individuals who pose a danger to themselves or others;

C.

The defendant failed to properly train and/or supervise its employees to recognize that the plaintiff’s behavior during the incident was a manifestation of his underlying mental illness and should be addressed as a mental health problem;

D.

The defendant failed to provide appropriate and adequate supervision of the plaintiff immediately prior to the intervention by POLLAK that resulted in plaintiff’s injuries;

E.

The defendant failed to properly supervise the employees who were directly responsible for the plaintiff’s care immediately prior to the intervention by POLLAK that resulted in plaintiff’s injuries;

F.

The defendant failed to ensure that employees who were interacting with the plaintiff on September 21, 2008, including POLLAK, were made aware of the

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plaintiff’s psychiatric diagnoses and prior behavioral problems and the Special Procedures that were required in his New Admission Report; G. The defendant failed to ensure that POLLAK , the “on call administrator,” had an up-to-date certification in Non-Violent Crisis Intervention; H. Prior to the time of the intervention by POLLAK that resulted in the plaintiff’s injuries, KURSAWE and/or BURGETT failed to defuse and de-escalate the situation with the plaintiff in accordance with accepted Non-Violent Crisis Intervention techniques and standards; I. During the entire incident on September 21, 2008, the defendant’s employees failed to follow the defendant’s written Crisis Intervention Policy; J. BURGETT and/or KURSAWE failed to properly advise POLLAK of the plaintiff’s psychiatric diagnoses and specific behavioral issues and the Special Procedures that were mandated by the New Admission report; K. Defendant failed to hire and employ security staff with specific training in Crisis Intervention techniques and standards. 36. As a direct and proximate result of the actions and omissions of the defendant,

as described herein, the plaintiff suffered serious physical and emotional injuries, including lacerations and bruises to his face, broken blood vessels in his eye, a bloody nose, bruises to

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his body, Post-Traumatic Stress disorder, fear and anxiety, all of which have required the plaintiff to undergo treatment, all to his economic loss. SECOND COUNT (CUTPA VIOLATIONS) 1. - 33. Paragraphs 1 through 33 of the First Count are realleged and incorporated here as Paragraphs 1 through 33 of the Second Count. 34. At all times relevant to this Complaint, the defendant advertised and held itself

out to the public as a “therapeutic boarding school” that was able to competently and safely address the educational, mental health and behavioral needs of adolescents with social and emotional difficulties. 35. As a therapeutic boarding school, the defendant is required to follow accepted

practices for safe and non-violent Crisis Intervention, including restraint when necessary. 36. At all times relevant to this Complaint, the defendant was engaged in commerce,

as defined by Conn. Gen. Stat. §42-110a, et seq. (hereinafter “CUTPA”). 37. The defendant’s representations that it was able to provide safe and competent

residential treatment services to adolescents suffering from psychiatric and behavioral problems, including appropriate and safe Crisis Intervention, were false and deceptive, in that it failed to properly hire, train and/or supervise its employees in the proper procedures for dealing with combative and/or agitated students, and that its employees lacked proper training in Crisis Intervention and restraint procedures.

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38.

The defendant’s false and misleading representations constitute deceptive

practices, as defined by CUTPA. 39. As a direct result of the defendant’s unfair and deceptive practices, as described

herein, the plaintiff has suffered economic losses, including the cost of treatment for his physical and psychological injuries, and the costs of hiring an attorney to represent him after he was arrested on September 21, 2008. THIRD COUNT (BREACH OF CONTRACT) 1. - 33. Paragraphs 1 through 33 of the First Count are realleged and incorporated here as Paragraphs 1 through 33 of the Third Count. 34. On or after August 20, 2008, the defendant entered into an agreement with the

plaintiff and the plaintiff’s parents, that the defendant would provide residential educational and psychiatric services to the plaintiff, at a cost of $7,800.00 per month. 35. As part of its agreement with the plaintiff, the defendant agreed to follow

accepted standards and practices for non-violent Crisis Intervention. 36. 37. As described herein, the defendant breached its agreement with the plaintiff. As a direct and proximate result of the defendant’s breach of contract, as

described herein, the plaintiff has suffered physical injuries, emotional injuries and economic losses.

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THE PLAINTIFF,

BY _________________________ DIANE POLAN Law Offices of Attorney Diane Polan, LLC 129 Church Street, Suite 802 New Haven, CT 06510 Telephone: 203-865-5000 Facsimile: 203-865-2177 E-mail: diane.polan@polanlaw.net Juris No. 100889 His Attorney

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RETURN DATE: OCTOBER 26, 2010 JOHN DOE, Plaintiff,

VS. GROVE SCHOOL, INC. Defendant

: : : : : : : : : :

SUPERIOR COURT JUDICIAL DISTRICT OF NEW HAVEN AT NEW HAVEN

SEPTEMBER 20, 2010

PRAYER FOR RELIEF FIRST COUNT 1. 2. 3. Compensatory damages; Costs of this action; Such other and further relief as this Court determines to be fair and equitable.

SECOND COUNT 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Compensatory damages; Punitive damages; Costs of this action; Attorney Fees; Such other and further relief as this Court determines to be fair and equitable.

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THIRD COUNT 1. 2. 3. Compensatory damages; Costs of this action; Such other and further relief as this Court determines to be fair and equitable.

THE PLAINTIFF,

BY _________________________ DIANE POLAN Law Offices of Attorney Diane Polan, LLC 129 Church Street, Suite 802 New Haven, CT 06510 Telephone: 203-865-5000 Facsimile: 203-865-2177 E-mail: diane.polan@polanlaw.net Juris No. 100889 His Attorney

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