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Negligence: Wrongful Death-Causation-Psychiatric Services Law

Where the mother of a child, who committed suicide the morning after being released from emergency room care, brought a wrongful death case claiming that the healthcare defendants’ psychiatric evaluation and decision to discharge the girl fell below the standard for healthcare providers and caused or contributed to the death, the grant of summary judgment to the defendants is reversed because the plaintiff presented sufficient evidence to show that the defendants had caused or contributed to cause the death, Chapter 532 of the state’s comprehensive psychiatric services law had not been invoked to establish immunity from civil liability, and the plaintiff presented sufficient evidence to preclude summary judgment for her aggravating circumstances damages claim.

Judgment is reversed.

Clark v. SSM Healthcare St. Louis (MLW No. 79545/Case No. ED110638 – 20 pages) (Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, James M. Dowd, J.) Appealed from circuit court, St. Charles County, Fagras, J. (Matthew B. Vianello, Anthony G. Laramore and Doreen Graham for appellant) (Kenneth W. Bean, Lauren C. Collins, Peter F. Spataro, Joseph F. Callahan, Thomas M. Ward, Mandy J. Kamykowski, Mariel L. Taylor and Rachel E. Palmer for respondent).

 


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