Can a Psychologist be Sued for Medical Malpractice?
Medical specialists who work as psychologists are an important part to a patient’s recovery from disorders. A psychologist commonly treats individuals who suffer from anxiety, depression, personality or behavioral disorders. Some of these conditions include panic disorders, phobias, bipolar disorder, drug abuse and schizophrenia.
The definition of psychology is the study of the mind and mental processes. There are many fields of psychology including clinical, cognitive, social and child psychologies. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statisticswrites medical psychologists provide mental health services in hospitals, clinics or private situations.
The numbers behind medical malpractice and psychologists.
Between 1990 and 2004, 1204 medical malpractice reports were reported to the National Practitioner Databank Annual Report. In another annual report from the 2003 National Practitioner Databank, psychology-related practitioners were responsible for having an average of 1.3 malpractice reports made against them.
Case examples of medical malpractice with psychologists.
False Memory Board lists an example. In 1995, Lynn Carl sought $18 million from her psychologist. In the suit, Lynn said she spent over $2 million dollars on treatment for mental health. The treatments her psychologist did made Lynn think she was a Satan worshipper since her childhood. Her psychologist suggested she report herself to the police as a child abuser. However, she had no memory of ever abusing her children.
Lynn stated her psychologist diagnosed her with multiple personality disorder. After her initial treatment, she became divorced and was not allowed to see her children. The psychologist was tried for coercion for the use of hypnosis and drugs to implant memories of satanic ritual abuse. Lynn later settled out of court for an undisclosed amount of money.
The Insurance Journal reported on another example of malpractice by a psychologist. In 2007, Betty Bowman was awarded an $800,000 settlement in a medical malpractice lawsuit against her daughter’s psychologist. In the lawsuit, Betty claimed the psychologist was negligent, committed malpractice, fraud and identity theft. The psychologist developed a sexual relationship with her daughter while she was a client. The psychologist even used Betty’s credit cards without permission or prior knowledge, amounting debts of over $23,000. Betty’s daughter died of asphyxiation while her psychologist gave her a heavy dose of medication he had prescribed.
At Rasansky Law firm, we are committed to being an advocate for individuals who suffer from serious illness or death related to psychologist treatments. If you feel that you or a loved one is a victim of this medical malpractice, do not hesitate to fill out our free case evaluation form. Our Dallas medical malpractice lawyers will gladly review the facts of your situation.