Court holds family lacked causation evidence in claim of improper discharge of psychiatric patient
The guardian of Sarah Laakso sued Hurley Medical Center after Sarah was struck by a car. While the Court of Appeals opinion does not provide much detail, apparently Sarah was struck by a car while wearing dark clothes and walking on a dark street, approximately 60 hours after her discharge from the Hospital's Psychiatric Unit. The family apparently presented two experts who believed that the Hurley doctors had discharged Sarah too soon, and who offered the opinion that the early discharge was a "cause" of the behavior that lead to her being struck by the car.
The Court of Appeals held that without more, this evidence was not sufficient to prove that her early discharge "caused" Sarah to be struck. Must be it concluded that she would have been out wandering the highway in the dark, even if she was healthy enough to be released from the Psych unit. That seems like a genuine issue for the jury to decide, based on the opinion testimony of qualified expert psychiatrists.