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New Hampshire Youth Center Abuse Trial: Jury Foreperson Disheartened by Potential Award Reduction

In a historic case involving mistreatment at a state-run juvenile detention facility in New Hampshire, the plaintiff’s lawyers are requesting a hearing after the jury foreperson expressed shock at the possibility of a lower settlement amount.

The jury on Friday granted plaintiff David Meehan an award of $38 million, which is made up of $20 million in enhanced damages and $18 million in compensatory damages.

Nonetheless, the office of the attorney general suggested that the award could be lowered to $475,000 due to state legislation that caps the amount that can be awarded to individuals suing the state at one time.

In a conversation with lawyer Rus Rilee, the jury foreperson expressed deep regret for the circumstances, saying that things may have turned out differently if they had been aware of the per-incident basis for settlement. The timely filing of a hearing request in response to this correspondence aims to address this matter and guarantee a just outcome for Meehan.

Meehan’s case has served as a focal point for exposing the state’s claimed incompetence in permitting serial abuse, like as beatings, rapes, and solitary confinement, to occur at the Manchester Youth Development Center during his adolescent years.

Over 1,100 former residents filed complaints alleging abuse that spanned decades, and other former state employees faced legal action as a result of this case, sparking a major legal struggle.

Meehan’s defense team depicted a culture of abuse at the center during the trial, one marked by widespread brutality and a code of silence. They featured testimony about incidents of abuse and institutional inaction in response to concerns from witnesses, including former employees and residents.

On the other hand, the state contested Meehan’s lawsuit’s timing and argued against accountability for the acts of specific workers. The state’s witness testimony attempted to discredit Meehan by characterizing him as a violent person and casting doubt on the veracity of his assertions.

This trial not only marks a turning point in Meehan’s life, but it also raises important questions about justice and accountability in state-run organizations. As the hearing works through the difficulties of compensating victims of institutional abuse, the outcome will be closely monitored.

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