Burns v. Defendant Psychiatrist

  • Circuit Court, Cook County, Illinois10/01/2004
    Counsel: Sherri M. Arrigo
    Client: Defendant Psychiatrist
    Outcome: Defense Verdict

Synopsis:

Plaintiff alleged that the firm’s client, a psychiatrist, negligently persisted in a diagnosis of multiple personality disorder, iatrogenically created by previous treating physicians through a course of coercive, suggestive psychotherapy.

Plaintiff specifically alleged that the psychiatrist used excessive and experimental medications and that his treatment "froze her in an adulterated, brainwashed mind-not-of-her-own creation, amounting to a tantamount prescriptive entombment of her own persona" and keeping plaintiff in a state of psychotropic suspended animation for 10 years.

Plaintiff claimed damages in the nature of loss of family relationships, worsening of pre-existing psychiatric conditions, pain and suffering, psychiatric disablement and other injuries "too complicated and the losses too great" to be fully described.

The defense successfully argued that the plaintiff had severe pre-existing psychiatric disorders, including multiple personality disorder, that plaintiff improved under defendant’s care, and that no deviation from the standard of care caused the plaintiff's damages.

The jury returned a defense verdict after several hours of thoughtful deliberation.