PARIS — A justice has vacated the $552,195 judgment against a Norway woman accused by the parents of a Harrison teenager who overdosed on heroin in September of driving past one hospital on the way to another as their daughter lay dying in the back seat.

In September 2016, Oxford County Superior Court Active-Retired Justice Robert Clifford ordered Deanna Marshall to pay $552,195 in damages to the estate of Cassidy Lynn Patten. 

Patten, 18, died Sept. 12, 2015, from acute heroin intoxication, according to the Medical Examiner’s Office.

According to the lawsuit, filed by Sarah and Charles Patten in March 2016, in September 2015, Stephen and Kendra Talbot, then Kendra Morrison, gave Patten heroin at a party at Marshall’s Walker Avenue apartment

Talbot told her mother, Marshall, who was home at the time, that Patten was in distress. They helped her into a car.

The complaint states that Marshall drove to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston, a 40-minute drive, rather than to Stephens Memorial Hospital in Norway, which was a four-minute drive from her apartment.

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Patten was left outside the Lewiston hospital as Marshall drove away. Patten died a short time later.

According to Edward Dilworth III, the attorney representing Patten’s estate, no one at the party called 911 to get help for Patten.

Marshall was served with notice of the suit on March 30, but failed to respond to the complaint and did not attend any of the hearings, including a hearing on damages scheduled for Sept. 6, 2016, at Oxford County Superior Court in Paris.

As a result, Clifford ordered that the Patten estate be awarded $552,195 in damages. The order included $2,195 for funeral expenses, $500,000 for the loss of comfort, society and companionship and $50,000 for conscious suffering.

However, on Jan. 3, Kenneth Pierce, the attorney representing Marshall, filed a consent order in Oxford County Superior Court to vacate Clifford’s entry of default and final judgment and give her a chance to defend herself.

Pierce said in his consent order that Marshall was insured under a policy issued by State Farm, but she failed to notify State Farm of the complaint brought against her.

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He said that on Nov. 2, two months after Clifford entered the final judgment, State Farm received written notice of the lawsuit from Dilworth.

“Marshall apparently did not understand the legal process involved which required her to respond to the complaint within 20 days,” Pierce wrote in his consent order. “More importantly, she did not know that she was covered under an insurance policy and that the insurance carrier would provide her with legal counsel at no cost.”

He added, “Most importantly, Marshall has a strong defense to the charges against her and should have the opportunity to defend herself.”

After Justice Lance Walker vacated Clifford’s judgment, Marshall responded to the initial complaint by denying the allegations and requesting that it be dismissed.

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