Court awards ex-Eastern State psychol...

Court awards ex-Eastern State psychologists $2 million in defam...

There are 290 comments on the Hampton Roads Daily Press story from Mar 19, 2009, titled Court awards ex-Eastern State psychologists $2 million in defam.... In it, Hampton Roads Daily Press reports that:

A jury has ruled in favor of two former Eastern State Hospital psychologists, awarding each $1 million in a defamation suit against John Favret, the hospital's director, and Deborah Mazzarella, now the hospital's director of psychology.

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truth to power

Annapolis, MD

#9 Mar 19, 2009
who are you lessismore? A lot of people know about this case. The jury was able to give voice to what many people "familiar with the case" are unable to say for fear of retaliation. Justice was served here.
whoedits

Richmond, VA

#10 Mar 19, 2009
Why were outrage and snerdley's comments taken off the discussion. Why are they not letting the people who state they are aware of what has been happening for numerous years voice be heard? Why are the two that were found guilty still able to work at Eastern State Hospital. They are costing the taxpayers 2 million dollars.
GotAClue

Richmond, VA

#12 Mar 19, 2009
1. Bisconer and Gross are husband and wife. The article fails to acknowledge this. Also, Bisconer worked under Gross while they were married. This raises huge ethical questions in and of itself.
2. Bisconer does not have a license to practice psychology, in fact her doctoral degree isn't even in psychology. But she was allowed to practice anyway. I wonder how her supervisor could....oh, wait.
3. One does not need to be a member of a professional association to make a complaint. And such a complaint would not be illegal in any event. A breach of procedure, perhaps, but not illegal.

Many, many facts of the case have not been made clear to this point. I would encourage readers to be very judicious about what they choose to believe.
interesting

Richmond, VA

#18 Mar 20, 2009
The last posted comment is #17 (mine should be #18) so apparently 10 comments have already been removed.... interesting.
LostHistory

Yorktown, VA

#19 Mar 20, 2009
I believe Topix is being forced to give up identities of writers of nasty comments made against a lawyer in Texas and his wife. They had legal charges, were found not guilty and now want to sue people who posted untrue accusations about them. That may be why some postings have been removed...or maybe not.
Eastern State employee

Portsmouth, VA

#21 Mar 20, 2009
Truth to power- you are absolutely right! It's about time that someone has heard our cry. What has been going on at Eastern State under his leadership has to STOP!!!!! Now that the world knows, maybe "Richmond" will finally listen and take a stand. This is just one of many, many, many, many nasty things that Mr. Favret has done during his leadership. Thankfully, Dr. Gross and Dr. Bisconer had the tenacity to go to trial; unfortunately there are not many of us who can afford to speak freely without fear of retaliation.
Eastern State employee

Portsmouth, VA

#22 Mar 20, 2009
I'm in Williamsburg, VA not Kingston, NY.
Hampton Native

Suffolk, VA

#23 Mar 20, 2009
LostHistory wrote:
I believe Topix is being forced to give up identities of writers of nasty comments made against a lawyer in Texas and his wife. They had legal charges, were found not guilty and now want to sue people who posted untrue accusations about them. That may be why some postings have been removed...or maybe not.
Actually, it states right at the bottom of the comment box "Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator." Any reader can click "Report Abuse" in the upper right corner of a comment and bring it to the moderator's attention. People on both sides of this issue were posting some pretty nasty and personal things. The people on the opposing sides probably just flagged each other's posts. This happens in a lot of comment threads. Lessismore's racist postings are always being removed.
Hampton Native

Suffolk, VA

#24 Mar 20, 2009
Eastern State employee wrote:
I'm in Williamsburg, VA not Kingston, NY.
Well, your ISP is a yankee.
reality check

Williamsburg, VA

#25 Mar 20, 2009
What was proven in a court of law is that Gross and Bisconer violated a total of 167 patients' rights. The research they did was conducted in violation of the guidelines. They were "educated" by the APA which is a written slap. They were strongly encouraged to re-learn the ethics code by the APA. Funny how everyone is downplaying that TRUTH, even the newspapers. Regardless of how you feel about the crappy leadership, and leadership DOES stink at ESH, are you really going to defend these people who got away with really bad patient abuse? How many of you "employees" would get a $2 million reward for violating patient rights???
Come on. Complain about the leadership and the people you don't like, but get some reality going... They broke the laws, violated the blue book and completely thumbed their nose at the APA. And they will be laughing all the way to the bank and back to Fords Colony because they beat the system.
These are the people you are supporting.
Christine

Chicago, IL

#26 Mar 20, 2009
So what I get out of this is psychiatrists are a bunch of whack jobs who can't help themselves let alone anybody else. I noticed the taxpayers will be paying for their 5th grade level behavior even though they were sued as individuals. Fabulous.
Rise Above

Newport News, VA

#27 Mar 20, 2009
I know a lot of ESH employees and I also know that a LOT of employees there are God-fearing Jesus-loving individuals.
That said, it is time for prayer (and fasting if you are so inclined). Pray for the healing of ESH. The residents deserve a staff and atmosphere that is supportive of their issues and state of mind.
Maybe it is time for a prayer vigil. Who will step up?
Makes no sense

Newport News, VA

#28 Mar 20, 2009
reality check wrote:
What was proven in a court of law is that Gross and Bisconer violated a total of 167 patients' rights. The research they did was conducted in violation of the guidelines. They were "educated" by the APA which is a written slap. They were strongly encouraged to re-learn the ethics code by the APA. Funny how everyone is downplaying that TRUTH, even the newspapers. Regardless of how you feel about the crappy leadership, and leadership DOES stink at ESH, are you really going to defend these people who got away with really bad patient abuse? How many of you "employees" would get a $2 million reward for violating patient rights???
Come on. Complain about the leadership and the people you don't like, but get some reality going... They broke the laws, violated the blue book and completely thumbed their nose at the APA. And they will be laughing all the way to the bank and back to Fords Colony because they beat the system.
These are the people you are supporting.
So help me to better understand this....you mean to say that in a court of law it was proven that Gross/Bisconer were found to have violated 167 patient rights, etc. etc, so how come they ended up with 2 million dollars? It looks to me that something else was proven, but it wasn't against them?
Jermaine G

Norfolk, VA

#29 Mar 20, 2009
As someone involved in the mental health field in the area, I have been aware of this specific situation at Eastern state for some time. Through my relations I have also been aware of the demoralized state of eastern state staff for some time. There's actually an infamy attached to Eastern in the mental health community. The sickness of that environment is lore. Now, who should be held accountable for these conditions if not the director of the hospital? This lawsuit, which certainly looks crystal clear when objectively reading the facts, only validates the abuses that have long been told by eastern state employees regarding hospital management. I have to believe that those postings in support of John Favret and the director of psychology are from friends of the two. There is no other explanation. Review the facts -- a romantic relationship between director of hospital and a female psychologist. The female psychologist accuses the director of psychology of ethical violations. In response, the director of the hospital then fires the director of psychology and promotes the female psychologist into the position. It's then determined that the two have been involved in a romantic relationship with each other. Seems suspect enough. Then add that (according to the articlce) two experts who reviewed the case found that the ethics charges were unfounded to begin with. Looks particularly suspicious. Then add that once all the facts were presented in a court of law, the jury awarded a 2 million dollar payout for defamation. Where's the doubt? The question is, what actions will be taken? The staff of Eastern, with very limited resources, are providing a service to a neglected population that need all the help they can get. Isn't there a state responsibility to ensure that the staff at Eastern are therefore protected from internal abuse?
SATB

Chambersburg, PA

#32 Mar 21, 2009
singing to the choir wrote:
I know for a fact the Geriatric Center of Excellence leadership is at its all time worst as far as Social Work. James is even worse than his boss.
Administration, minus 1 or 2 should be removed...HR and Hancock Social Work Dir. go first! How sad our song didn't make the Top 10 in Richmond until this abuse of Bisconer/Gross came to light. Where's Simon???
reality check

Williamsburg, VA

#33 Mar 21, 2009
The two consultants found multiple violations that supported (and encouraged) a report to a regulatory agency. That agency (the APA) wrote a letter to gross/bisconer directing them to review their ethics code. Go check it out, they are now a part of public record. That means the complaint was at least accurate, and not made up over some ridiculous conspiracy theory.

People who know the research and no longer work for the hospital used personal leave, one came from another country, to come testify that the research was one enormous ethical violation that they personally witnessed. Other witnesses were the state's Patient Advocate who confirmed the patient rights violations and other psychologists who witnessed the study. Were they all part of the romantic conspiracy? Come on.

So why did they get $2 million? The jury bought into the conspiracy theory and did not look at the evidence in the case. The way most of the bloggers on here are doing. Reacting to half-truths and acting like they know what they are talking about because you hate the players. Hate them all you want but get the facts straight.
Grow up and be objective

Chesapeake, VA

#36 Mar 21, 2009
The case was won because Evil and his common law wife hired a better attorney. The plantiffs took advantage of the patients to further their careers. It was unethical, but they got away with it because of the state's impotent attorney. For the sake of justice, hope for a favorable appeal. Truth will eventually win out.
Eastern State employee

Portsmouth, VA

#37 Mar 21, 2009
SATB wrote:
<quoted text>
Administration, minus 1 or 2 should be removed...HR and Hancock Social Work Dir. go first! How sad our song didn't make the Top 10 in Richmond until this abuse of Bisconer/Gross came to light. Where's Simon???
2 million dollars and newspaper coverage will move your song up the charts very quickly!
Eastern State employee

Portsmouth, VA

#38 Mar 21, 2009
reality check wrote:
The two consultants found multiple violations that supported (and encouraged) a report to a regulatory agency. That agency (the APA) wrote a letter to gross/bisconer directing them to review their ethics code. Go check it out, they are now a part of public record. That means the complaint was at least accurate, and not made up over some ridiculous conspiracy theory.
People who know the research and no longer work for the hospital used personal leave, one came from another country, to come testify that the research was one enormous ethical violation that they personally witnessed. Other witnesses were the state's Patient Advocate who confirmed the patient rights violations and other psychologists who witnessed the study. Were they all part of the romantic conspiracy? Come on.
So why did they get $2 million? The jury bought into the conspiracy theory and did not look at the evidence in the case. The way most of the bloggers on here are doing. Reacting to half-truths and acting like they know what they are talking about because you hate the players. Hate them all you want but get the facts straight.
We don't hate the players; we hate the game that they have been playing. And we want it to STOP!
reality check

Williamsburg, VA

#40 Mar 21, 2009
finding a voice -
Your statements sound like reasonable conclusions, but you are basing them on what you read or were told by supporters of g/b. Most people know their story because they went on the offensive as soon as they realized they had been caught and immediately began laying the groundwork for their ultimate lawsuit by running around town defaming their accusers (who only reported it per their requirements under the lawand didn't chat about it to try to get support).

You have many facts wrong, so I don't fault your position. but gross resigned (not fired) MONTHS before this happened. That wasn't even related. bisconer worked for ESH for YEARS after it happened... and yes, there were aggregious patient rights and ethical violations. Confirmed.

The whole thing has been colored in one direction to further a political agenda?- perhaps to try to force M & F out? Who knows? Who cares?

I care about those patients who were violated and I care about the truth. I truly hope the full story will be allowed to be told one day.

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