Lawyers at DBMS successfully litigate a wide variety of civil cases and argue appeals in some of the most challenging jurisdictions in the country.

Professional Liability

DBMS Obtains Not Guilty Verdict in Alleged False Imprisonment Case


Defendant Psychiatrist


Verdict for the Defense


Mark Burden and David Handley of DBMS successfully defended a psychiatrist in DuPage County at trial against allegations of false imprisonment. Plaintiff alleged that the defendant psychiatrist and the defendant mental health hospital falsely imprisoned her for six days in November 2014, and that she was fraudulently induced into executing her voluntary admission application to the mental health hospital. After an altercation with her father where she allegedly threatened to kill him, a petition and certificate for involuntary admission was executed in the emergency room. Plaintiff was transferred to the mental health hospital where she was seen and evaluated by the defendant psychiatrist. The following day, plaintiff signed an application for voluntary admission and was admitted for five days before being discharged.

Plaintiff argued that she should have been released by the defendant psychiatrist under the provisions of the Illinois Mental Health Code when no second certificate was executed following her initial evaluation. Plaintiff also argued that because she signed the voluntary admission form under fraudulent circumstances, she was falsely imprisoned by the mental health hospital and the defendant psychiatrist until she was discharged.  Finally, plaintiff argued that she was not mentally ill and thus was not subject to any form of admission under the Illinois Mental Health Code.  Defendants maintained that the plaintiff was lawfully admitted to the mental health hospital pursuant to the provisions of the Illinois Mental Health Code at all times, and that plaintiff therefore was not falsely imprisoned.

After plaintiff requested $750,000 in damages, the DuPage County jury returned a verdict for the defense.