David, Joseph and Kathyrn, with respect to the RESULT: For respondents.
death by suicide of their father, Mark S., 50. Decedent suffered depression when his wife, EXPERT TESTIMONY: Mace Beckson, Shanna S. left him, and as a result of his minor M.D., testified that it was below the standard daughter’s developmental disabilities, alleged of care to prescribe Effexor to a patient with to be the result of the respondent’s negligence a prior suicide attempt, and that the Effexor (and the subject of another action). increased the patient’s risk of suicidality. CASE: Sasha S., a minor by and through her Alleged that the monitoring of the patient by Guardian ad Litem Shanna S.; David S.; Joseph Decedent began psychiatric treatment for his psychiatrist and therapist, both employees S.; Kathryn S. v. Kaiser Foundation Health depression with the respondents on March of the respondent, was negligent and that Plans Inc.; Kaiser Foundation Hospitals; 3, 2006 and continued off and on until he they were not aware of or did not appreciate Southern California Permanente Medical committed suicide on Dec. 19, 2007.
the significance of the patient’s prior suicide attempt. Alleged that the patient should CLAIMANT’S CONTENTIONS: Claimants have been hospitalized when he requested contended that decedent was not properly hospitalization for ECT (electroconvulsive monitored and followed by his mental health therapy) and that instead, when the patient ATTORNEYS: Claimant — Tera A. Harden professionals, particularly after a suicide presented to the hospital, he was turned away. (Law Offices of Brian C. Pearcy, Riverside) attempt; was turned away from Kaiser for As a result, he felt he had no options and for David S., Joseph S., Kathryn S.; Patricia a psychiatric admission for ECT therapy committed suicide. A. Law (Law Offices of Patricia A. Law, during the week prior to his suicide; and was Riverside) for Sasha S.
prescribed Effexor that increased his suicidal Lester Zackler, M.D., testified that Effexor ideation, all of which caused or contributed to was an appropriate treatment choice, and it Respondent — N. Denise Taylor (Taylor his death by suicide.
does not cause suicidal ideation. Further, the Blessey, LLP, Los Angeles).
decedent was offered psychiatry appointments R E S P O N D E N T ’ S C O N T E N T I O N S : and counseling sessions but chose not to MEDICAL EXPERTS: Claimant — Mace Respondents contended that all of the care attend on a regular basis. The patient was Beckson, M.D., forensic psychiatry/addiction and treatment provided to decedent by the non-compliant in his treatment, and denied respondents’ agents and employees, including suicidal ideation. The patient was referred Respondent — Lester Zackler, M.D., his psychiatrists and therapists was within the for ECT evaluation when he requested it, but neuropsychiatry, Sherman Oaks.
standard of care and did not cause or contribute failed to go to the hospital on the appointed to the suicide of decedent. date, and failed to follow-up with his mental health care professionals thereafter, instead brought by minor claimant Sasha S., by and SETTLEMENT DISCUSSIONS: Claimants deciding to end his life by suicide. through her mother and Guardian ad Litem, demanded $500,000. Respondents made no Shanna S. and decedent’s three adult children offer.
Reprinted with permission from the Daily Journal. 2011, Daily Journal Corporation. All rights reserved.
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Source: http://www.taylorblessey.com/documents/Taylor%20Blessey%20LLP%20(V&S-Sabet%20v.%20Kaiser)e.pdf


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