• No Recovery, No Fee
  • Free Consultations
  • Home & Hospital Visits Available
Toll Free: 866-586-8164
Local: 734-274-2876

Hire A Real Attorney, Not A TV Personality

We know our way around a courtroom and we get the results our clients need.
View Our Practice Areas

Court: consensual affair between doctor and patient is malpractice

Early last month, in this Michigan medical malpractice blog, we discussed an interesting case that was being decided by an appeals court on the east coast. The question before the court was whether a consensual affair between a physician and a patient constituted medical malpractice.

The court has now ruled that it was in fact medical malpractice, but the jury award was lowered because the court also found that the married patient shared some of the responsibility for the affair.

The jury set the woman's fault at 25 percent and will reduce her total damages--$338,000--by that amount.

The adulterous affair reportedly began in 2001; the woman had begun seeing the family practitioner in 2000 for depression and anxiety and she had also been treated by him for stomach issues. The nine-month affair ultimately resulted in the woman's divorce and she filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the doctor in 2005.

In her lawsuit she argued that her feelings for the physician resulted from "eroticized transference," a term that describes a patient transferring and attaching emotions onto her therapist. An argument was also made that the affair actually interfered with the medical treatment she originally sought from the doctor.

Whether the affair affected the patient's condition does not negate comparative fault, the court stated in its unanimous ruling. In addition to reducing the woman's settlement by 25 percent for her role in the affair, it also threw out punitive damages that had been awarded by a lower court. It did so because the court did not think the doctor's actions were malicious, or meant to cause harm.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, "NY court says affair is medical malpractice," Nov. 29, 2012

  • Our Ann Arbor personal injury law firm helps victims of medical malpractice file claims. More information about this area of our practice is available on our Michigan Medical Malpractice page.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
  • $4,391,000: Judgment entered on Oakland County jury verdict, 2008. A Michigan man suffered traumatic brain injuries in a motor vehicle accident, which caused a permanent seizure disorder. View More results
  • $2,536,454: Verdict for no-fault benefits for client severely injured in motor vehicle accident. 2012.
    View More results
  • $2,360,000: Jury verdict for serious electric shock injuries sustained by client in a construction accident in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
    View More results
  • $1,400,000: Verdict for no-fault benefits due to a traumatically brain injured client, in this Washtenaw County action against Allstate Insurance Company. View More results
Email Us For A Response

Contact Us For A FREE Consultation

Tell us about your case.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

2 convenient office locations free initial consultations

Ypsilanti Office:
119 North Huron Street
Ypsilanti, MI 48197

Toll Free: 866-586-8164
Phone: 734-482-5000
Fax: 734-487-7000
Ypsilanti Law Office Map

Ypsilanti Office:

Jackson Office:
410 South Jackson Street
Jackson, MI 49201

Toll Free: 866-586-8164
Phone: 517-787-9000
Fax: 734-487-7000
Jackson Law Office Map

Handling legal
crises throughout
all of Michigan,
especially Ann
Arbor and
Ypsilanti areas.