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Herzfeld & Rubin, LLP Obtains Significant Legal Ruling Regarding Alleged Psychiatrist Liability Arising From Involuntary Detention of A Patient

October 22, 2017

The healthcare litigation team of Herzfeld & Rubin, LLP scored a significant victory in representation of a psychiatrist who was sued for a civil rights violation resulting from the involuntary hospitalization and detention of a patient under California Welfare Institutions Code §5150 (involuntary psychiatric hold).

The plaintiff patient sued our client alleging a civil rights violation because she did not exhibit the type of conduct which would render her either a danger to herself or others or gravely disabled within the meaning of the statute.  Michael A. Zuk, Esq. and Daniel H. Abrahamian, Esq. were successful in obtaining a summary judgment based upon lack of the required state action under the Federal Civil Rights Statutes.  They were able to show that none of the four factors which would make a private actor such as our client, a government actor applied.  They were also able to effectively establish that none of the four tests were met and therefore as a matter of law, our client was entitled to utilize his judgment in ordering the psychiatric detention.

The successful motion involved a detailed analysis of law and the factors required to constitute state action by a private citizen in the context of a psychiatrist issuing an order to detain a patient in a state licensed facility.

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