DeKalb County

Jury awards $77M to family of man discharged from mental health facility, killed on I-85

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga — A record verdict has been reached against a metro area addiction treatment center in the death of a man who was abruptly discharged with none of his medications.

It’s been five years since Nicholas Carusillo was killed after he was hit by several vehicles as he lied naked in a fetal position on Interstate 85 on Sept. 22, 2017.

Carusillo had moved to Georgia from North Carolina to get help for his issues with addiction and bipolar disorder.

“When he was 15, we realized he had a drug problem and bipolar disorder,” Carulliso’s mother, Tina, said. “He did not have to die.”

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Days before his death, the 29-year-old father was reportedly asked to leave the MARR Addiction treatment facility because he violated the facility’s cellphone rule.

The family filed a lawsuit in 2019 against Marr Addiction Treatment Center, a dual mental health and addiction facility in DeKalb County, and several individuals who were responsible for his care.

“We filed this lawsuit because we had no answers,” Michael Carusillo said.


The three-week trial ended last week with a record-setting compensation verdict in the state of Georgia of $77 million.

The family hopes the record $77 million compensation verdict will help them raise awareness and support for those experiencing mental health and addiction issues.

“Nick’s story was about a family’s fight to validate his life,” attorney Natalie Wood Ward said.

Channel 2 Action News reached out to attorneys representing MARR Addiction Center and received the following response.

“We plan to appeal and are not commenting further about the ongoing litigation.”

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