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Two more malpractice claims summarily dismissed: Court rejects victim's experts' testimony

This week the Court of Appeals upheld the summary disposition of two medical malpractice claims. One was no surprise, as the victim attempted to represent himself in an arena designed to defeat the average claim: an arena which is long on rules and obstacles and short on justice. The Court made quick work of Darrell Marshall's attempt to sue Central Medical Imaging MRI & CT Center, et al.

The case of the Estate of Reitha Biundo was more difficult to understand, however.  It stands, if anything, as a testament to the fact that Republican special-interest- influenced judges believe that no one else can be held accountable when someone commits suicide.  It follows a trend of cases where these judges have disregarded facts and expert opinion to excuse negligence or professional negligence that other professionals believe contributed to suicide.

In Biundo, the surviving family of Mrs. Biundo filed a lawsuit claiming that her treater failed to respond properly to the woman's unstable condition.  She had been admitted for depression and suicidal ideation, did not respond to treatment, attempted suicide, and showed no improvement, however, her treater allegedly made no meaningful change in the treatment plan.  The family presented the testimony of two psychiatrists who claimed that the treater failed to comply with the standard of care by responding to complications associated with Biundo's medications and failing to revise the treatment plan. They also testified that if treated properly, she probably would not have committed suicide.

The Court held that because it was 55 days from the first admission of Biundo to the E.R., and because the family presented "no conclusive information" regarding Biundo's mental state, the family could not prove that inadequate care was a cause of her suicide. If that sounds to you like an impossible, and legally unjustifiable burden of proof to place upon the family, you are not alone.  We think it simply documents the judges' imposition of their own prejudices upon the judgment of testifying medical professionals.


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