Summary Judgment in Medical Malpractice Case

Joseph Callahan secured summary judgment on both compensatory and punitive damages against their client, a psychiatrist charged with negligence in failing to order a 14-year-old child to be admitted to the hospital following an emergency room evaluation the night before her death by suicide. The trial was set to begin May 16 in St. Charles County before Judge Michael Fagras. Plaintiff’s latest demand was in excess of $1 million. The motion hinged on the testimony of plaintiff’s only expert who testified the suicide the next day was the result of a sudden decision secondary to an intervening, precipitating event wherein the teen went on the Internet and reacted to bullying by her classmates. Judge Fagras concluded the plaintiff’s expert’s testimony as to their client’s negligence “was speculative at best and void of any evidentiary value.”