In a groundbreaking ruling, the Georgia Supreme Court has ruled that the family of a man, who stabbed his mother to death, can proceed with a lawsuit against the psychiatrist who discontinued the man’s medications.It has long been the law in Georgia that third parties who suffer a personal injury or wrongful death due to a psychiatrist failing to properly treat a patient can recover damages. However, this case adds a new twist in that the family of the patient and the victim are the same. The decision is important because it now allows families most directly impacted by the conduct of a patient to retain a medical malpractice attorney and sue the psychiatrist.
The case involves Victor Bruscato, who was undergoing psychotic treatment by Derrick Johnson O’Brien.The doctor had placed Victor on antipsychotic medication, but decided to discontinue two of the most powerful medications when he became concerned that Bruscato was showing signs of another dangerous syndrome.
In August 2002, Bruscato attacked his mother with a battery charger, causing her severe head injuries and stabbing her seventy-two times.He was charged with murder, but was judged incompetent to stand trial.His father sued the psychiatrist for medical malpractice, alleging that the doctor’s negligence in discontinuing the medication had causes his son’s psychosis to get out of control.The psychiatrist refuted the allegations, saying that Bruscato’s family was not eligible to file a civil lawsuit in a crime that was committed by their own son.
First, a judge ruled in favor of Derek Johnson, but a Court Of Appeals reversed that decision.The Georgia Supreme Court has now unanimously ruled that the lawsuit against the psychiatrist can go ahead.
Aspart of the ruling, the Court ruled that a family cannot financially gain from a loved one who knowingly commits a wrongful act.However, in this case, Bruscato suffered from a psychiatric illness, and therefore did not knowingly commit the act.
This is a unique case that has interested Georgia medical malpractice lawyerseverywhere.Georgia’s laws allow persons who have been injured by the negligence of healthcare professionals to recover damages.When a person seeks treatment from a healthcare professional, he places his health and his life in that person’s hands.
Any kind of medical negligence can have long lasting and far-reaching consequences.A person who has been left medically injured because of the negligence of a doctor, nurse or hospital, can be left facing heavy medical expenses.These injuries can be extremely serious, and the person may be unable to return to his former job.Financial stresses can increase, and these will only be compounded by the emotional anguish and trauma after a medical injury.
Through a medical malpractice claim, patients can recover medical expenses, damages for lost wages and other compensatory damages.Injured patients may also be able to claim losses for pain and suffering.However, it is necessary that you file a medical malpractice claim as soon as possible with the help of an experienced and competent Atlanta medical malpractice attorney.Medical records need to be gathered, and these must be reviewed by an expert in order to establish the negligent conduct.A lawsuit can be filed only when the negligent conduct is clearly established and generally require the affidavit of an expert.
The Atlanta medical malpractice lawyers at the Katz Law Firm represent victims of medical malpractice across Georgia.