Failure To Prevent Suicide Attempt

Failure To Prevent Suicide Attempt

Verdict: Not Guilty

Date: February 2011

County: Cook

PLTF Medical: Dr. Richard L Gamelli (Burns) and Dr. Darl Vandevender (Plastic Surgeon)

DEF Medical: Dr. Maelen Pantano (Internist)

PLTF Experts: Dr. Howard Sudak (Psychiatrist)

DEF Experts: Dr. John Zajecka (Psychiatrist) and Dr.Michael S. Easton (Psychiatrist)

Summary: Plaintiff was under the care of Defendant psychiatrist Timothy Cullinane for the five years leading up to the incident. Prior to Plaintiff seeking the help of Dr. Cullinane, he saw a different psychiatrist and had previously attempted suicide. Two years into his therapy with Dr. Cullinane he made his second suicide attempt. Plaintiff made his third suicide attempt two weeks after visiting Dr. Cullinane. At that time, he showed signs of severe depression. Plaintiff attempted suicide by dosing himself with gasoline and setting himself on fire while sitting in his car. He was rescued by a passer-by. Plaintiff suffered burns over 70% percent of his body. Plaintiff is significantly disfigured, does not properly sweat due to the loss of his pores, and is at risk when the temperature is slights above or below a narrow range. Plaintiff contended that Dr. Cullinane did not properly manage his psychiatric condition by failing to change his medication and offer psychotherapy. Defense asserted that Dr. Cullinane properly recommended therapy and medication changes within the standard of care and even with different medications, Plaintiff was at risk due to his mental illness.

Category: Psychiatric Injuries, Psychological Injuries

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