Sunday, October 25, 2015

Minnesota psychiatrists get immunity from lawsuit after patient suicide. No, the patient was not Dan Markingson.

The Minnesota Supreme Court is reviewing another immunity claim. The Star Tribune reports:

Depression and suicidal thoughts haunted Kirk Lloyd Jr. during his teen years. In 2010, the then 17-year-old wrapped his body in a blanket and set it on fire.

Fearing for his safety, Lloyd’s mother took him to the hospital for voluntary mental health treatment. Staff agreed he needed immediate care, but a few hours later determined he was no longer a danger to himself and sent him home.

Two days later, Lloyd killed himself in his bedroom. The family sued Allina Health System for negligence, an action the company claims is invalid because a nearly 50-year-old state law shields it from legal consequences in mental health cases.

The state Court of Appeals sided with Allina, leading to a date before the Supreme Court earlier this month. It was the first time the high court chose to review an immunity defense case involving the suicide of a mental health patient who wasn’t forced to take treatment.

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