Third lawsuit filed against Castlewood Treatment Center
By: Jim Erickson
The Castlewood Treatment Center near Ballwin again has taken the offensive in the wake of a third lawsuit alleging the operation planted false memories in the mind of a St. Louis woman undergoing treatment there for an eating disorder. But the response has drawn a harsh rebuttal from the woman’s attorney.
In a statement on Castlewood’s website, the center declares, “Whenever there is a lawsuit with publicity, others want to jump on the bandwagon.”
The response sets forth the center’s reputation for specializing in treatment of anorexia, bulimia and eating disorders with post-traumatic stress caused by sexual abuse.
“Of the thousands of clients treated, most are extremely grateful but there will be a few who are angry and need someone to blame – and there will always be lawyers waiting,” the Castlewood statement says.
The attorney for Brooke Taylor, of St. Louis, the third Castlewood patient to file suit against the center, blasted that response.
“There are plenty of patients who’ve been treated there who had the same thing (as Taylor and the earlier plaintiffs) happen to them,” said Ken Vuylsteke, the Webster Groves attorney who’s representing Taylor and the plaintiffs in the two earlier lawsuits. “In some of those cases, the statute of limitations ran out before they fully realized what had happened to them. Other patients simply didn’t want to relive what they and their families had been through by filing a lawsuit. It’s disingenuous at best for Castlewood to make the kind of statement it did.”
Plaintiffs in the other two lawsuits are Leslie Thompson and Lisa Nasseff, both from Minnesota.
Taylor and the other women have charged that while hypnotized or under the influence of psychotropic drugs, false memories were planted in their minds, leading them to believe they earlier had been subjected to sexual abuse.
In an earlier statement made after the second suit was filed, Castlewood said, “Litigation filed by a plaintiff’s attorney contains numerous false, absurd and bizarre allegations that we patently reject.”
Castlewood says it will defend itself “vigorously and let justice prevail.”
In response, Vuylsteke noted, “I’ve been in practice for 32 years and these are the most egregious examples of medical malpractice I’ve ever seen.”
Castlewood earlier had sought a gag order on comments from either side of the legal dispute but no ruling has been made on the request.