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Judges reaffirm 2 Weinberger patients’ psychological evaluations

October 12, 2012

In reaffirming a Lake Superior Court decision that granted former doctor Mark Weinberger’s motion that two men suing him undergo psychological examinations, the Indiana Court of Appeals clarified that there is no requirement that a trial court must compel an involuntary psychiatric evaluation when faced with similar facts and circumstances as in the instant cases.

Lake Superior Judge Jeffery Dywan granted Weinberger’s motion for a Trial Rule 35 Psychological Examination pertaining to Mark Ashmann and Jeffrey Riggs. Ashmann and Riggs filed medical malpractice complaints against Weinberger in 2010, claiming Weinberger didn’t comply with applicable standards of care when performing surgeries on their sinus cavities. Both men claim to have suffered and will continue to suffer pain, emotional distress and mental trauma.

In its original not-for-publication decision, the Court of Appeals affirmed Dywan’s ruling, finding the nature of the two men’s claims are more like negligent infliction of emotional distress and their claims of emotional distress are complicated. It also held that Weinberger’s request for a psychological examination to evaluate their claims demonstrated good cause for the evaluations.

On rehearing in Jeffrey Riggs and Mark Ashmann v. Mark S. Weinberger, M.D., Mark Weinberger, M.D., P.C., Merrillville Center for Advanced Surgery, LLC, and Nose and Sinus Center, LLC, 45A03-1109-CT-394, the appellate court clarified that a trial court “may” – not “must” – order an involuntary psychiatric examination when confronted with the facts and circumstances of this case. It also reaffirmed the original opinion in all respects.

 

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