Clinic May Be Liable for Patient's Suicide, but Not Homicide of His Family

June 14, 2023 | Strategic Insights for Health System


An outpatient clinic may be liable for a patient's death by suicide, but not for the murders of his wife and children, the Minnesota supreme court has ruled. The decision reverses lower court rulings and allows the lawsuit against the clinic to proceed to trial.

The patient, a 45-year-old registered nurse, initially sought treatment from an urgent care clinic in June 2015 for feelings of tightness or pressure in his chest and difficulty sleeping; he had a history of minor heart issues and wanted reassurance that the symptoms were not related to that history. The patient reported that the symptoms were likely attributed to work-related stress from financial concerns at a business he had started several years prior. The patient reported no psychological symptoms and denied any suicidal or homicidal ideation. A physician assistant diagnosed him...

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