Killer’s psychiatrist can be sued by victim’s family, Washington Supreme Court says

Discussion in 'Law and Justice System' started by Disir, Dec 26, 2016.

  1. Disir
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    Disir Gold Member

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    The family of a Spokane woman who was murdered along with her son can pursue a lawsuit over whether the killer’s psychiatrist should have done more to protect them, the Washington Supreme Court held in a case with implications for mental-health professionals around the state.

    Rebecca Schiering and one of her sons, Phillip, were shot by her ex-fiance, Jan DeMeerleer, in 2010. DeMeerleer, who also wounded another of Schiering’s sons in the attack, then returned to his own home and killed himself.

    Schiering’s family sued the killer’s psychiatrist, Dr. Howard Ashby, and Spokane Psychiatric Clinic, alleging they were negligent in their treatment of DeMeerleer and that they should have done more to protect the victims. Ashby knew his patient had previously expressed homicidal and suicidal ideas, but found no “real clinical problem” in their most recent meeting, three months before the killings.

    In a 6-3 opinion, the Supreme Court held Thursday that the lawsuit can go forward. The majority said mental-health professionals must act with reasonable care to identify and mitigate the dangerousness of psychiatric patients.
    Killer’s psychiatrist can be sued by victim’s family, Washington Supreme Court says

    I'm not sure Ashby could have foresaw something 3 months down the line.
     
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  2. Coyote
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    Coyote Varmint Staff Member Senior USMB Moderator Gold Supporting Member

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    I agree...I don't think this is a good precedent. What's more, it will make doctors more reluctant to take on certain patients or diseases.
     
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  3. irosie91
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    irosie91 Diamond Member

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    the case HINGES on the record-------for any discerning person---BUT
    it is likely that the lawyer for the plaintiff will demand a JURY TRIAL---
    the doc is in deep shit---- I ain't no lawyer-----but if the lawyer for the
    defense is smart he will try to do the NO JURY option and get the judge to
    be a judge-------hopefully DA JUDGE is a mensch
     
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    Last edited: Dec 26, 2016
  4. Pete7469
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    Pete7469 Gold Member

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    It will also make people more reluctant to seek help, if they believe a doctor may alert authorities.



     
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  5. Disir
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    Disir Gold Member

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    There is a duty to warn but you have to meet the criteria. They don't want a psychiatrist, they want a psychic.
     
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  6. Jarlaxle
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    Jarlaxle Gold Member

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    Or shrinks will start pushing the panic button any time there is ANY indication someone is nuts, even if they know he is just pissed off.
     
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