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Family Of Teen Who Committed Suicide Awarded $2.9 Million Against Treatment Facility

April 10, 2019

A Philadelphia County jury awarded more than $2.9 million to the father of a teenager who committed suicide after running away from a Berks County residential treatment facility. Calvin Long of Wernersville filed suit against Bethany Children’s Home in Womelsdorf, alleging staff there was negligent for failing to properly supervise his 16-year-old daughter, Carley Long. Carley Long, who lived in North Pocono before being placed in the treatment facility, was killed on May 6, 2015, after she was struck by a Norfolk Southern Railway Co. train in Heidelberg Twp., Berks County. The coroner’s office later ruled her death a suicide. The lawsuit, filed by Scranton attorney Michael Pisanchyn, alleged Carley Long fled from the facility, which he said was inadequately staffed, after being left unsupervised for an hour. She was struck by the train a short time later. The lawsuit initially named the rail company as a defendant, but a judge dismissed the counts against it before trial. The case went to trial on March 22. The jury rendered its verdict Monday, finding the home negligent. It awarded Calvin Long, the administrator of his daughter’s estate, $2,925,000. Frank Deasey of Philadelphia, attorney for Bethany Children’s Home, said his clients plan to appeal. Deasey said he respects the jury’s verdict, but believes the panel’s findings are against the weight of the evidence. He noted the defense presented evidence that showed the facility had more staff on duty than regulations required and that Long was not left unsupervised. Contact the writer: tbesecker@timesshamrock.com; 570-348-9137; @tmbeseckerTT on Twitter

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