The law firm of Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata, & Siegel, P.C. represents Frank Harris, an individual with severe psychological problems that has been a patient of the District of Columbia's Saint Elizabeth's Hospital. Our client, as a result of his severe disabilities posed a significant threat to himself. In fact, the "demons" within Mr. Harris convinced him to tear his eyes out and that if he did, he would no longer see visions disturbing to him. As a result, the District of Columbia, in accordance with doctor's orders, was supposed to protect Mr. Harris from inflicting this horrible self-mutilating act. The District of Columbia's employees however, according to the lawsuit filed by partners Ira Sherman and Joseph Cammarata, failed in its responsibility to protect Mr. Harris. The suit alleges that Mr. Harris was left insufficiently restrained when he asked to use the men's room and he used that opportunity to rend himself totally blind.
The law firm has filed a lawsuit against the District of Columbia which is scheduled for trial in October 2007. The District of Columbia sent a bill to Mr. Harris for approximately $2.2 Million representing the amount of the cost of services provided to him while he was hospitalized and under their "care." In fact, what the District of Columbia is doing is seeking the very money it would pay to Mr. Harris as a result of the injuries sustained resulting from the negligence of the District of Columbia. Accordingly, the District of Columbia would benefit from its own negligence by paying money from one pocket and putting it in another! The District of Columbia city council members are incensed. (See letters from the City Council Chairman and At-Large Delegate attached to yesterday's blog.) Now the press, local and national, are joining the chorus on this topic. (See the articles from the Washington Post and The Examiner ) More will follow but rest assured, we will not stop fighting for fairness and justice.
by Ira Sherman, Esq.