My name is Bryan Sutherland and I am currently suing my former psychiatrist for damages of various degrees. I am 29 years old and a licensed private investigator. In my early years, I was bullied in school which caused me to experience some minor anxiety from my negative school environment and the judgment of my peers. In 2001, at age 13, I was referred to a psychiatrist for an assessment, given my increased absenteeism from school because of playground torment. The psychiatrist at the time was not interested in the abuse in my environment and decided that I had a chemical imbalance in my brain which needed to be corrected with a chemical balancer — that being big pharma psychotropic drug products. I was diagnosed with Anxiety Disorder (NOS), meaning not otherwise specified, and we left with a prescription for an antidepressant to remedy my supposed chemical imbalance which was never tested prior to treatment.
The antidepressant Zoloft is manufactured by Pfizer and is not approved for patients under the age of 18. Instead of disciplining the bullies, the mental diagnosis and stigmatizing labels only armed the abusers with more names to call me. Immediately after I was administered the psychotropic drug I started hallucinating. Not being warned about the risks and the dangers of the psychotropic drug effects, my family had no idea what was happening to me. In less than one month after starting the medication, my mother called the psychiatrist requesting services ASAP. I was seen just weeks after being placed onto the drugs and instead of the psychiatrist discontinuing the drugs that started causing hallucinations, he informed us that my mental illness was worsening and I was re-diagnosed with full anxiety disorder with psychotic features. The psychiatrist doubled the dose of Zoloft and placed me on a very powerful antipsychotic known as Risperdal. Heavily sedated, I was cycled around the mental health system, one diagnosis after another, more drugs to remedy those diagnosis, and many unwanted, unnecessary, and undesired billings for medical goods and services.
After the loss of my biological father in 2005, the psychiatrist added new drugs to his already existing prescription cocktail. Following an emergency room visit in early 2006 for worsening anxiety and adverse drug effects, I first met the psychiatrist who was on call (now the defendant in my lawsuit). He claimed to be an adult psychiatrist and noticed that I was turning of legal age in the coming days. Despite the contradiction of turning 18 and being able to make my own decisions of treatment as an adult, he met with my family and told them to return me to the hospital right after my 18th birthday for testing. Still having no informed consent about the risks and dangers of the adverse reactions that I was experiencing and not knowing that the term “hospitalization” meant an adult psychiatric unit, my parents followed the directions of the psychiatrist. We were informed that there would be a test.
Days after my 18th birthday my parents brought me to the hospital. We were never informed that I was admitted to the hospital as a voluntary patient, nor was I informed of my right to be able to leave as an adult voluntary patient. I was thrown in a psych ward and my parents were told to stop coming to visit me. I was refused my release for six weeks and I lost my grade 11 school credits as a result. I was never given a lawyer to represent my legal rights, never had due process, and never had a day in court; no judge, no jury. I just disappeared in a locked unit for six weeks. Since I was on-the-books deemed as a voluntary patient, it was never covered in the discharge summary that I was involuntarily deprived of liberty, even though the clinical notes taken by staff admit that I was refused my release. Seeing how I was not involuntary, I was not even granted my right to a psychiatric patient advocate nor was there a tribunal to plead my case to leave. I was stripped of my legal rights and I was stripped of my medical rights. You have more rights as an involuntary patient because at least people who are detained under the mental health act are given a tribunal. I was not detained under the mental health act, so no tribunal was ever heard or existed.
I was forced and coerced into taking more intense remedies of drugs which caused me to experience muscle spasms and body aches and pains. The medication administration records report the high doses of drugs, but the doses were suppressed and not reported in the discharge summary. The defendant psychiatrist diagnosed me with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and various other serious conditions. My family and I were told that my schizophrenia was genetic and that I had a brain disease. We were informed that there was no cure for what I had, only treatment. My mother was informed that I would be a full-blown schizophrenic by the age of 25. Only a few years left of living before my degenerating brain disease would take over my mind for good. I thought, what I would do with seven years left to live?
After the six-week hospitalization, I was released into my parent’s care. I was heavily sedated and slept all the time. Since the higher doses of drugs hindered my cognitive functioning, not only did I lose my school credits, but I could not return to school and was placed on permanent disability. The psychiatrist’s abuse continued for years. I was threatened with re-hospitalization if I ceased my medical treatment. I was told that he was going to give me electroconvulsive therapy to treat my schizophrenia if I relapsed. He kept upping and upping my dose, billing for more and more goods and services. There came a point where the dose of drugs was so high that I was taken out of my house by ambulance for having a seizure in the bathtub. As the doses increased, my hallucinations from drug effects kept getting worse and worse. Because it was so inhuman and because I was so sedated, my mother lowered the dose of drugs on her own.
In late 2009 or early 2010, I was able to escape the psychiatrist’s grasp. I ceased all of the prescription drugs, and quit cold turkey without a creepy psychiatrist threatening me. I had cold sweats from withdrawal, but the side effects of the drugs were so bad that I didn’t care. After stopping the drugs, I was cured. I NEVER HAD HALLUCINATIONS AGAIN. It was a miracle. No more voices in my head, no more body aches and pain, no more being sexually controlled with chemical drugs, no more cognitive impairment. When the psychiatrist found out that I was no longer on any medication, he was nasty and sought my mother out. He attempted to cover his tracks by stating that I was in remission but the schizophrenic symptoms would return, and they never did. Shortly after discontinuing drugs, and no longer experiencing life-threatening adverse reactions, I started working a steady job at a security company, and there I remain today. I was promoted from security guard to private investigator within just a few years.
In 2013, I requested my medical chart, but the psychiatrist refused me my right to see my own personal health information that by law belongs to me. This prompted an investigation into the tests that were utilized to diagnose my supposed genetic brain disease. There was a six-month battle to obtain my medical information and in February of 2014, our family retained a lawyer and the defendant was forced to surrender my personal health information.
What we found made our blood run cold — longstanding acts of fraud. I was completely physically healthy, the CAT scan of my brain showed no evidence of disease, my EEG brain waves were normal. There was no evidence that I had a genetic brain disease as the psychiatrist had told my family and I. My life flashed before my eyes as my entire medical history over the last decade was rewritten from having a genetic disease to being a victim of a medical scam. It was the most bittersweet taste that I ever experienced, for I realized that I was not sick and dying, but I had been robbed of so many years of my life due to the psychiatrist’s lies. A twisted fate and crooked reports, which led to a huge civil lawsuit against the defendant psychiatrist. I moved from private investigator into the highest trial court in the Province. As I kept going up in the world, more and more information kept coming out against the defendant psychiatrist in litigation. I also moved for termination of mental disability.
I commenced the civil action on January 20th, 2015. It was amazing to me when I saw the Statement of Defence for the first time. The defendant psychiatrist who was always so vigorously arguing and telling me that I had a brain disease, brain disorder, brain defect, brain disability, and brain abnormality, was now denying all of those claims. That which is the fundamental claim of the mental health system, which it constantly promotes to the public, was now being denied by the defendant psychiatrist in a court of law? Biological disease, chemical imbalance, biochemical imbalance, low serotonin, dopamine excess, genetic and hereditary illnesses, all now denied in pleadings, and I knew that soon I would have to face my attacker in depositions.
I was ready — the truth was on my side. As a self-representing litigant I went to be interrogated by the two Defence solicitors from a top law firm on December 1st, 2015. I went through their good-cop/bad-cop routines. I saw the good lawyer hold his heart to try and lure me into a false sense of security; I witnessed the bad lawyer get up and lean over the table and ask me questions rudely because his actions weren’t going on the record; the mean glares and nasty sneers, the twitches of intimidation. Lawyer to lawyer, act to act, I saw it all. And I got through it, somehow.
The next day was my turn — I got to examine the defendant psychiatrist under oath. Of course the main talking points were his physical claims of brain disease, disorders, defects, disabilities, and abnormalities, to which he surprisingly confessed under oath, just like he had told my family and I years ago. He spilled his guts so much that we wrapped up early. What was supposed to be another eight-hour day was done in four hours; I didn’t need anything else, he confessed to it.
There was still an underlying question, which was why did the defendant psychiatrist deny the allegations in the statement of claim, but admit it under oath? Why? This prompted more investigations. I filed for admissions. Since the defendant psychiatrist had changed his story from denial in pleadings to confessing under oath, I wanted these confessions in the admissions phase of litigation, so I could establish these as legal facts. What I got was more twisted than anything I could imagine. I didn’t get denials, nor did I get confessions. I got the truth for the first time, and for the first time, I was vindicated in my life. The Defence admitted that while it was a theory (the chemical imbalance theory) that I had a brain disease, the test results were negative, and that the defendant psychiatrist had never validated his claims. But why was I never told this? Why was my family never told this fact? The defendant denied the allegations in pleading, confessed them in my medical chart and under oath, and then said it may have been and he never proved it in admissions. I knew that this was going to be the hugest trial of the century, but I was wrong — not about the facts, but about having my day in court.
This lawsuit has uncovered that: the defendant psychiatrist was not trained in Canada; he had no liability insurance which covered his medical practice while treating me; he left the country in the middle of this civil proceeding, and has left town twice that we can prove; he had never validated his claim of genetic brain disease prior to treatment; he diagnosed me while I was being administered drugs (side effects, not subjective symptoms). The reason that he said there was no cure was because he never found anything wrong with me to begin with.
I knew too much; the Defence filed a motion for summary judgment. I fought tooth and nail, but the court threw out the claim because I could not afford enough expert evidence. Since the Defence could not win on the facts, they covered up the case based on my economic hardships. How could a judgment be based on the money in a person’s pocket and not based on the facts of what the defendant psychiatrist first denied, then admitted, and then suspected? I appealed.
I am currently in the appeal process and since then I have obtained five expert reports which are being introduced to the court via motion for further (or fresh) evidence. As of right now, the appeal is set to be heard on March 20th, 2018 in the highest Court of the Province of New Brunswick (the Court of Appeal). I have filed a motion seeking various remedies from the court. All the submissions are locked in. Attached hereto are the Appellant’s Submission, the Respondent’s Submission, and the Further Submission. Also linked hereto is the Appellant’s Notice of Motion and Affidavit in support thereof.
Since the summary and technical judgment, it has come out that the defendant psychiatrist’s legal defence has been paid for in whole (or at bare minimum, in part) with taxpayer money. I have not received any taxpayer money to fund the plaintiff’s side. Doctors pay fees to the federal statute and those fees are then refunded by the province. Now while all of the Rules of Court are provincial and all of the insurance acts are provincial, the Canadian Medical Protective Association (the CMPA hereinafter) was created over 100 years ago via federal statute. While for insurance, people pay premiums, to be a member of the CMPA, doctors pay fees, which are then reimbursed by the province. Since the CMPA is legally not an insurer, the defendant psychiatrist never had any liability insurance which covered his medical practice, as required by law, and as required by the Medical Act of New Brunswick. My life was ruined by a doctor who had no liability insurance, no test, and no cure.
Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.
Good luck with the lawsuit, of course. However keep in mind that generally speaking, no matter how obviously destructive any “medical” procedure is, if it is considered “accepted practice” the practitioner is immune from legal sanctions. At least until we get a lot more public education done.
Actually that is not the test Oldhead. Owing to a pending HR deadline, I don’t have time to provide the jurisprudence on it here in Canada where Bryan lives, which is the same in the US. But you will be happy to know that the notion that practitioner can hide behind “accepted practice’ has been challenged and overcome. The law is a living tree that changes through challenge.
I hope you’re right and that this is recognized as a precedent, not just an idiosyncratic regional directive.
Don’t know if my analogy would be a tree though, under corporate rule a mutating virus might be more appropriate. In any case, go for it — any and every way you see fit!
I’m so sorry that happened to you.
Yes. Good luck Bryan. I hope that you will write more about your experience with the law, because your terrible experience with psychiatry is like thousands of others. Thousands upon thousands of lives, like your own, have been and are being destroyed by pseudo-medical quacks who pose as doctors. Psychiatry is a system of slavery that must be abolished, and if there is a way for the legal profession to catch up to this reality, that would be great. In all my research I could never find a lawyer who understood the truth about psychiatry or who was willing to fight these battles. If anyone out there knows of any lawyer, anyone at all, who has the wherewithal and the legal acumen to bring these psychiatrists to justice, please let me know. Thank you.
James B. (Jim) Gottstein, Esq
Tried him. Several times. Perhaps he was too busy.
Gottstein is licensed in Alaska but may, or may not, know someone who practices in the locale where you were harmed.
Slaying, at this point, in my situation, some of those that were involved in my situation in some fashion have relocated. One or two because I think they got in trouble.
The doc who first put me on SSDI was found to be practicing without a license but I think he started up again in another state. Another doc, who overstated his competency, relocated twice, radical relocations, looks suspicious to me. Others have also moved….And some I left the places they were working under not-so-nice circumstances.
I have a plan, though, Slaying. Get in touch with me. I’m trying to get people together on this who REALLY WANT TO DO SOMETHING so we can knock heads together and take action. I really have thought up something.
Thank you Bryan for filing your lawsuit. You are helping yourself, and you are helping countless others, as your suit will likely open the door to more lawsuits.
You are fighting to restore your public honor, and others will undoubtedly follow your example.
No amount of therapy or recovery will ever restore anyone’s honor, quite the contrary they just push people further and further from actually standing up for themselves.
We have so called activists who plead for pity and recovery. And we have doctors who only want to put 10% as many children on drugs. It is a dire state of affairs.
I commend you for your courage and for the example you are setting!
Well done in breaking free and taking this to court and especially well done on acting as your own lawyer.
“Since the summary and technical judgment, it has come out that the defendant psychiatrist’s legal defence has been paid for in whole (or at bare minimum, in part) with taxpayer money. I have not received any taxpayer money to fund the plaintiff’s side.” I think this is worth investigating more and seeing if it contravenes any human rights or other legislation and taking up with your politicians as this seems a hugely important issue an seems to me to be contrary to natural justice.
Good Luck Bryan,
I admire your initiative and courage.
That Psychiatrist suffered from a “mental condition” for which there is no cure whatsoever.
All the best and all power to you !
Jerrold Rosenberg is a psychiatrist
“Victims of a scheme in which a doctor prescribed them a highly addictive opioid spray in exchange for kickbacks are expected to tell a federal judge how their lives were affected, including stories of overdoses, monthslong withdrawals, weight loss and broken bones from falling while on the powerful drug.”
“Jerrold Rosenberg told one patient, “Stop crying, you’re acting like a child,” when she complained of severe side effects, which included losing 40 pounds and repeated vomiting for years, according to an excerpt of grand jury testimony filed by prosecutors in the case.”
“One 68-year-old patient described the drug as having turned him into “a zombie.” He collapsed in Rosenberg’s office in July 2013. His wife took him to the hospital, where he was administered with Narcan and diagnosed with opioid intoxication, according to court documents.”
“Another patient said she was falling all the time because she was so high on Subsys, according to excerpts of her grand jury testimony. She said she fell nine to 10 times and suffered a number of injuries, including breaking bones from her thumb to her wrist.
“I was killing myself. I was so high,” she said”
Oh yes I heard about that spray……Very scary stuff.
‘What proportion of psychiatrists refused to take part?'(in mass murder of their patients )
“oh very few; a handful”
“I suppose so”
“There are very few who openly said I’m not going to participate and nothing happened to them, so they didn’t do it because they were forced, you see there was ample room for maneuver for avoiding to participate. Very few refused to participate.”
“Are you absolutely sure about that, I find it incredible”
“That’s absolutely sure”
“If you read the notes you can identify the moment when the doctor has decided.. I will kill this patient, because before this moment he describes the patient, as you see in many notes in the world sighting pathological symptoms.. things like that, and suddenly he just writes denigrated value judgements: useless, nuisance, and I think by using these pejorative words it was easier to kill them”
“The fact about acute serious mental illness is people are not behaving badly they are beyond any moral consideration. They are behaving in a very mentally disordered way. It almost reminds me of when they use to prosecute pigs for eating apples in your orchard”
I am so sorry this happened to you, and so sorry for your family. I am glad you are still young and I thank you so much for persevering with your lawsuit. You could help untold numbers of people.
Very well written and such an important experience to share.
I hope this post gets the exposure it deserves.
I am so happy that you are pursuing this, and that you pushed on to discover the lack of insurance and licensing issue.
I, too, was caught up with an unlicensed doctor. He was the one who initially put me (and countless others) on disability payments. It was 1984 and I had been turned down in 1983. He put me on SSDI for schizophrenia. Based on his word only, no tests were given, not even psych tests. In fact, I hardly ever met with him.
Bryan I am happy that you are able to do this before the statute of limitations has passed. For many of us, we cannot pursue a case because we’re too exhausted during the years following the harm, and the period of time passes too quickly. These doctors and the facilities that support them get away with destroying people’s lives and making money off of it.
I hope you realize that you are young and you have many years ahead of you. You can do a lot with the PI license. I hope you use it creatively and productively to screw the field of psychiatry for many years to come. BRAVO! And best of luck with the lawsuit. This is indeed groundbreaking. Brain disease? Naw, you have chutzpah.
Just making a quick note here Julie….
what was discovered is that here in Canada, the only jurisdiction in the world that uses it’s own citizens tax payer money against victims of medical malpractice to crush us with in court when they kill, disable or maim us, has 85% of its dr’s working without insurance and as such, without valid licenses.
This is not a handful of quacks running around rogue, it is business as usual and like most “medical” scams has been kept pretty quiet as you can imagine.
Bryan knows a LOT about the justice system and has made his legal documents (which are well done and eye-opening) available to all so that can be used as a template by others wishing to expose shrinks for the lying criminals they are.
Finally, the limitations law does stop the clock from ticking when a person is under a disability or has to take care of their health prior to compiling discovery and evidence proving they have a case— it also states 2 years from the time you knew or should have known… Having challenged the limitations law in my own case and won that appeal, I like to make sure people are aware of that.
Like everything else in the law, it is a living breathing ever changing system grounded in human rights, addressed on a case by case basis and challenged by people who are creative enough to position novel arguments that by law must be heard.
Yes I noticed that insane “counter appeal” regarding statute of limitations. “Should have known.”
This has been pointed out to me as well…And arguably, why do patients not realize they are not “bipolar,” “schiz,” etc, when there is no evidence for it? I think we need to argue….As Bryan has….
We are limited in how much information we have access to in the “mental health ghetto.” We are not encouraged to do our own research. We are encouraged to “ask our doctors” for all information and never rely on ourselves or our own common sense. We’re even told we’re incompetent and “lack insight.” Many are told we’re psychotic and cannot trust what we hear, see, and sense intuitively. We are told that if we are suspicious, it’s “paranoia.” If we dare question, it’s a “symptom.” All this can be argued as to why we remained clueless of the fraud and deceit, and why we continued to deceive even ourselves when the contradiction stared us in the face.
But would the courts believe it?
So very proud of your work, Bryan. Our son was also conned by the corrupt industry. I strongly suggest you set up a legal gofundme account – we would be so happy to contribute.
Rick & Elizabeth Fearn
Kudos to you Bryan, on your recovery from a likely iatrogenic illness created by your psychiatrist (your “schizophrenia,” etc. sounds a lot like a case of both antidepressant and/or antipsychotic induced anticholinergic toxidrome, google that, hope it helps you) and for taking your case to court. I presume you were forced to be your own lawyer, since lawyers are not taking cases against the psychiatrists?
I, too, found “You have more rights as an involuntary patient because at least people who are detained under the mental health act are given a tribunal.” My hospital doctors actually eventually forged my signature on my “voluntary” papers, since I refused to sign them, I learned from my expunged legal documents and medical records.
One of those doctors was eventually arrested by the FBI because he continued to commit similar crimes against lots of patients, and had started defrauding Medicare/Medicaid for his crimes. Satanists the lot of them, IMHO.
Go get ’em, Bryan. Although I will say I’ve learned the legal system is a really screwed up system also, so you should likely do some research into that as well.
Awesome. You’re bringing serious attention to the problem. I’m also so happy to hear that you were able to escape from that oppressive situation when you did, yikes. Thanks for this article.
What a story. Good for you Bryan Sutherland! for fighting the corrupt system. Your so young, talented and driven to fight for the truth. Hurray!!! I too, filed a complaint against my Mental Healthcare system for ‘neglect of care’ and lost mainly due to the fact they right out lied. In order to hire an attorney I would have had to sell my country home and at that time, I wasn’t willing to do that. But, before I was all done with Psychiatry they would take that too. You’re such an inspiration to continually fight for justice. I know what you mean by not having to experience anymore crazy drug-induced symptoms. What a nightmare that was. At the age of 60, I was finally given a new life: drug free, symptom free, mentally ill free. Turns out I am no more Bi-polar than the man on the moon. And neither are you.
Sandy me too, I found out the precise same thing. Medicating normal emotions. Some “illness.” Geez. I look back and think what fools they all were.
Julie Greene, MFA, this appears to be good news. Dear AllTrials campaigners
For several years AllTrials has been asking the FDA to censure sponsors who break the law in failing to report clinical trial results. The FDA has assured us, publicly and privately, that new clarifying rules – the FDAAA Final Rule – will help them do so but though there are trials on ClinicalTrials.gov whose results are years overdue, to date they have not issued a single fine, despite the power to levy up to $10,000 per day.
So we have sent an open letter to the FDA telling them that today is the launch of an an online tracker (FDAAA.trialstracker.net) so that we can all see who is late according to the FDA’s own registry data. Today is important – it is 13 months since the FDAAA Final Rule that made it crystal clear who needs to report results within a year of a trial ending (13 months includes the extra 30 days grace FDA allows for administration issues). We thought you would like early sight of this letter as the tracker launches: http://www.alltrials.n et/news/open-letter-to-the-fda
We are going to write to them every week from now on with a list of those trials that breach the reporting requirements, as well as a rolling total of the fines they could be levying. We will succeed in recovering missing trials.
Hello Bryon, first of all, I am sorry this happened to you, my heart sinks reading a story of this magnitude. Perhaps it is because this happened to someone in my family, who is now free, once away from the confines of the institution. I wanted to make a sign that read: Free ____, and walk up and down the sidewalk in front of the place, though I didn’t have the guts, for fear the people that work in that dreadful place would chase after me with their syringes, phony-theory disease ‘categories’ and zip ties! I wanted to stage a protest, a revolution against their ‘treatment’ of human beings, though I feel they wouldn’t understand due to their complete lack of empathy. Again, I applaud you, you are strong and I admire this in any individual that falls victim to the egregious, malicious, and very dark and destructive spin-off of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual’s book of theories. Think about it, THERE IS NO PROOF, there is no research what-so-ever in what these people DO to other people.
What a horror story. Sad that things like this happen and more often than we are aware of I’m afraid. So glad you got out of the prison of psychiatry. I got out too but I was not successful at justice for what was done to me. Fortunately I am mostly OK, I think< and can live the remainder of my life free. Hope that you can as well.
Thank you for your courage and for telling your story !
Bryan I just read all those legal papers you supplied in the links. I don’t know, as you put it, if your life is “ruined” or not, as that is up to fate, or maybe what happens in the coming years and how you spend those years. You seem like an intelligent, incredibly brave, and promising young man to me. You are a role model and a hero.
I wish there were a way to publicize this trial. Everyone I know believes in the “chemical imbalance” more firmly than the fact the sky is blue. Bunch of dumb sheeple.
It says depression/bipolar/schizophrenia are real brain chemistry disorders on TV. TV never lies! So it must be true.
Feelindiscouraged, I just read this two seconds ago. Oh, I must share if MIA will let me. Read every word carefully. This is how they brainwash the masses.: NIMH’s Portfolio Balance: Quality Science Comes First By Joshua Gordon on February 26, 2018 ‘In the 2000s, NIMH concluded several large clinical trials, including STAR*D, Step-BD, and CATIE, real-world studies of the effectiveness of antidepressants, mood-stabilizers, and antipsychotics, respectively.’ I also don’t know if they threw this in as a joke.: ‘I think it truly important that we be as transparent as possible about the kinds of research we fund and the balance of investments we maintain.’
Yes, I wish the trial was publicized but they sure don’t want any of their dirty little secrets to escape into the public in case some ‘truth’ is exposed.
March 20 is soon. So so proud of you for filing legal case. On your side all the way!!! I may follow your lead in the USA. Be tough. The psychiatrists are licensed criminals. Horrific damage that are getting paid large amounts of money to do. Go Bryan!!!
How did March 20 go? Rooting for you. – Lori