Plaintiff in this case was a 45-year-old woman who sought treatment from a psychiatric clinic when she became significantly depressed as a result of her husband’s substance abuse. Despite asking to be seen by a Ph.D. psychologist, plaintiff was assigned to an MFCC, who did not have a Ph.D. in psychology, despite the fact that he did have a Ph.D. on his business card. Plaintiff claimed that she was mislead by the clinic and the therapist and believed that the therapist was a qualified psychologist. During the course of therapy, the psychotherapist committed various boundary violations and eventually engaged in a four-time sexual relationship with plaintiff.
The psychiatric clinic attempted to deny any responsibility for the actions of the psychotherapist, claiming that whatever sexual relationship existed between plaintiff and the psychotherapist occurred after treatment had terminated and outside of the clinic.
The law offices of Winer, McKenna, Burritt & Tillis LLP, through a thorough investigation, was able to find evidence that the psychotherapist was convicted of two drunk driving charges prior to his sexual relationship with plaintiff and had been in drug and alcohol rehab twice. The evidence indicated that the psychiatric clinic knew of this information, yet, did not recognize that this made the psychotherapist unsuitable to treat patients such as plaintiff. Plaintiff had previously been represented by another attorney, who did not aggressively pursue the issue of the clinic’s notice of the psychotherapist’s erratic behavior. At the time that the law offices of Winer, McKenna, Burritt & Tillis LLP, took over the case, the only offer to settle made by defendants was less than $100,000.
RESULT: $750,000 settlement on behalf of plaintiff