A 90-year old patient refused to return to her home after discharge from the hospital, because she claimed that her home had been consumed by noxious sewer fumes. She was evaluated by our client, a psychiatrist, who concluded the patient suffered from a fixed paranoid delusion and was unable to manage her affairs. The patient brought an action against our client for Elder Abuse, Fraud, and Violation of the California Confidential Medical Information Act (CMIA). Plaintiff claimed that our client obtained confidential information under false pretenses and disclosed this information without her consent, thereby resulting in the imposition of a conservatorship and its attendant expenses.
Virgil Pryor was successful in eliminating the elder abuse and fraud causes of action. Confident that we would prevail before a jury as to the alleged CMIA violation, we rejected all settlement demands and pressed forward. After several months, we persuaded the patient’s attorney to dismiss all claims against the psychiatrist.