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Lorraine B. Polin Secures Defense Verdict in Suffolk County

On June 8, 2015, Lorraine B. Polin obtained a defendant verdict after a two week trial in a wrongful death case in Suffolk County. The case involved the death of a 48 year old father of two children, the younger one having found his father on the couch, unresponsive. The autopsy report listed the cause of death as an accidental overuse of the medication Soma and alcohol. Plaintiff’s counsel, through his expert, argued that the muscle relaxant drug was “very dangerous” and should not have been prescribed since the patient was a known alcoholic. The defense experts testified that the prescription for Soma issued by the defendant P.A. and later approved by the co-defendant supervising physician was indicated for the patient’s continuing complaints of rib pain following an altercation at the school where decedent was a counselor. The defense experts also testified that if the drug had been taken as prescribed ( one pill 4 times a day as needed) it would have been safe, even with the level of alcohol found in the patient’s system on autopsy. A forensic toxicologist testified that the level of Soma detected on autopsy was the equivalent of 10 to 30 pills taken in a short period of time. The jury deliberated for approximately half an hour before returning a unanimous verdict on behalf of both defendants.