Former Nassau nurse wins $3.5M in false imprisonment lawsuit
A former nurse, who claims she was locked in a psych ward for days, won more than $3 million in a lawsuit against one of Long Island's biggest hospitals.
Stacie Sullivan, a former nurse at North Shore University Hospital, sued the medical corporation for false imprisonment. After a three-week trial, a Nassau County Supreme Court jury awarded Sullivan $3.5 million in damages.
“North Shore did something horribly wrong to me and I was not going to let them get away with it,” she said.
Sullivan said her legal battle began in September 2012 shortly after her nurse supervisor, William Senicola, stole Propofol from the hospital and used the drug to kill himself.
Sullivan's attorneys said the hospital feared Sullivan would release information highlighting the hospital's lax drug monitoring. Sullivan says the hospital sent four private security officers to her house and forced her to leave with them.
Sullivan said her ordeal continued when she was transported against her will to the psychiatric ward at Zucker Hillside Hospital. She says she was kept there for two days against her will.
Sullivan's attorneys said the hospital falsely imprisoned her to keep her quiet about the stolen drugs.
A Northwell spokesperson told News 12 the hospital stands by its actions and strongly disagrees with the jury's decision. According to a statement: "Our team handled a very sensitive and difficult situation in an appropriate and respectful manner that sought to help one of our own employees through a difficult time. It is disappointing that it was not recognized that our actions prevented a potential devastating event."
But Sullivan says the jury's verdict speaks for itself.
“It doesn't matter how big a company you are. You can't get away with doing this to anybody, to any human being,” she said.