Governmental providers are not immune from mental health malpractice
Karen McLean's family filed suit against the Hiawatha Behavioral Health Center and other professionals, arguing that they were negligent in caring for Karen. Karen had a long history of psychiatric illness and alcohol problems before she died while "unsuccessfully attempt[ing] detoxification without assistance." The Defendants argued that while governmental health providers are not immune from errors in "medical care and treatment," this exclusion from governmental immunity should apply only to care and treatment for physical illnesses and conditions. The Court found no basis in the statute or in the legislative history to support the Defendants' argument and upheld the trial court's refusal to grant summary disposition.