Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is a free and confidential service available to currently enrolled Stony Brook students taking at least six credit hours. (STATESMAN STOCK PHOTO)
Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is a free and confidential service available to currently enrolled Stony Brook students taking at least six credit hours. A lawsuit filed by a student’s parents claims that the service was negligent in the treatment of their daughter. (STATESMAN STOCK PHOTO)

By Arielle Martinez, Kelly Saberi and Rachel Siford

The parents of a Stony Brook University student, who took her own life on campus earlier this year, are suing employees of the university’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) for allegedly failing to properly treat her depression.

The student died on Jan. 27. The complaint, filed on July 15, states that she began psychological and psychiatric treatment at CAPS in September.

The Statesman is withholding the student’s name and identifying information to observe the privacy of her family.

The complaint states that the defendants “negligently, carelessly and recklessly failed to properly test, diagnose, monitor and treat Claimant’s decedent [name withheld], which adversely affected her health, well-being and future treatment, and ultimately led to her suicide and premature death.”

The plaintiffs filed complaints in two separate courts, the first being the New York State Court of Claims, their lawyer, Daniel Woodard, said. Stony Brook University is in the State University of New York system, and this is the only court in which the state of New York can have legal action brought against it. The student’s parents are claiming $10 million in damages for negligence and medical malpractice.

The student’s parents took another action against the individual staff members who treated their daughter at CAPS. This complaint was filed in the Federal District Court of the Eastern District of New York, which encompasses Suffolk County, Nassau County, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island.

“Out of respect for student privacy, as well as the pending of litigation, the University is unable to comment,” Stony Brook University Media Relations Officer Lauren Sheprow said in an email.

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Correction: July 18, 2015

In a previous version of this story, The Statesman reported that Stony Brook University Media Relations Officer Lauren Sheprow declined to comment on the matter.  The story has been corrected to include her response on behalf of the university to The Statesman’s request for comment.

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