Psychiatric Malpractice Verdict

Gardner v. OHSU et al., Multnomah County Case No. 15CV02134

This case was brought by the personal representative of the estate of a woman who committed suicide in 2014. The woman was a patient of Defendant, Dr. Marvin Fickle of OHSU and sought counseling from Defendant Jennifer Shay. Plaintiff alleged that at the time of the suicide, both Defendants were aware that the woman had purchased a gun and expressed her intention to commit suicide. Plaintiff alleged that Defendants were negligent for failing to take steps to ensure the gun was no longer in the deceased woman’s possession. They claim Dr. Fickle / OHSU was negligent for failing to initiate involuntary hospitalization proceedings, failing to put a psychiatric hold on the deceased, failing to discontinue her medication and failing to implement an adequate safety plan.  They allege Shay was negligent for failing to take a proper mental health history and failing to perform an adequate safety plan. The estate sought $1,500,000 for the beneficiaries.

Defendants both denied any liability and alleged that the deceased herself was negligent for telling her providers she was not suicidal, not giving up the gun and not alerting family members of her plan.

Plaintiff’s Counsel – Mark McDougal, Jason Kafoury & Greg Kafoury

Defense Counsel – Thomas McDermott, Rodney Norton

Verdict – Defense Verdict

Date – May 10, 2017

May 15, 2017

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