Summary Judgment Win in Case Involving Patient Suicide

by | Jan 5, 2022 | Case Results, Medical Malpractice | 0 comments

Senior Trial Partner Michael A. Sonkin and Partner Amy E. Korn were granted summary judgment in the Southern District of New York.

This Federal Court case involved the suicide of a physician with a long history of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder who was treating with our client for Ketamine infusions. The claims were a failure to perform a careful examination of the patient to determine whether there was an imminent threat of harm; failure to contact the authorities of the patient’s prior ideation; and a failure to communicate with the patient’s treating psychiatrist and coordinate care, despite the patient’s explicit prohibition on communication. All of the above was claimed to have resulted in the patient’s suicide.

The Court agreed with MCB’s position that our client doctor appropriately determined that there was no imminent threat of harm present based on the doctor’s examination of the patient, and that there was no basis to disregard the patient’s instructions and violate HIPAA by contacting the authorities or communicating with the patient’s psychiatrist. The Court found that no issue of fact existed as to the propriety of the care, and that summary judgment was warranted on behalf of our client.