Summary Judgment in Lack of Notice in Psychiatric Assault Case

Summary Judgment in Lack of Notice in Psychiatric Assault Case

Senior Partner John J. Barbera and Partner Deborah A. Dyckman obtained summary judgment in a psychiatric case for our client hospital concerning a patient on a psychiatric unit who was allegedly assaulted by another patient resulting in traumatic injury. Counsel for the psychiatric plaintiff claimed that the psychiatric patient who attacked his client had known violent propensities that should have placed the hospital on notice to keep that patient away from others, including his client. However, plaintiff’s counsel could not meet the requisite burden of proof to show such propensities of the alleged attacker, as the hospital maintained,  and objected to waiving the privilege associated with the attackers medical records.  Plaintiff did not overcome the privilege and was unable to defeat the defense motion for summary judgment arguing lack of notice.