Western Psych receptionist injured in shooting moves to appeal dismissal of her lawsuit
The lawyer for a former Western Psychiatric Institute & Clinic receptionist wounded during a shooting spree more than two years ago filed a motion Wednesday asking a judge to certify the case for an immediate appeal.
Common Pleas Court Judge R. Stanton Wettick last week threw out claims made against the mother of John Shick, who opened fire at the clinic, and his doctors, along with most claims against UPMC, which owns Western Psych.
Shick, 30, of Oakland killed a therapist and wounded four on March 8, 2012, before police shot and killed him.
Former hospital receptionist Kathryn Leight, 66, of Shaler, whom Shick shot and wounded, and other victims sued his mother, Susan Shick, the University of Pittsburgh Physicians and UPMC. They claimed UPMC doctors missed several opportunities to commit Shick to a mental facility. Two doctors at Shadyside Family Health Center asked Western Psych for involuntary commitment papers but didn't follow through with filing them, the lawsuit stated.
Wettick ruled that doctors who treated Shick during previous visits to Western Psych were not responsible for his shooting spree because their care is not covered under state mental health laws. Shick received voluntary, outpatient treatment, which does not entitle third parties to hold physicians responsible, Wettick said.
Leight's attorney, Mark Homyak, filed a motion seeking a clarification of the judge's order and a certification to take the issue to state Superior Court.
Shick, diagnosed as schizophrenic during involuntary commitments in New York and Oregon, began seeing doctors at UPMC's Shadyside Family Health Center in 2011, when he moved to Pittsburgh to begin graduate school at Duquesne University. The school expelled him in October 2011 because he harassed female students.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Former Highmark CEO sues health insurer for $32 million
- Highmark Health reports $171M operating loss for 1st half of year
- Brady free to play after judge rules against NFL in ‘Deflategate’
- Steelers accomplish mission to get younger, faster on defense
- Asking price for Penguins franchise said to be at a record $750M
- 4-year-old transplant recipient Angelo Giorno from Derry on life support, family says
- Pirates, Marlins in talks to play 2016 game in Puerto Rico
- Bubble players get last chance to impress Steelers
- Dukes kick off conference play on national television
- 2 arrested after Jeannette raid turns up heroin, crack, gun
- Penn Hills man sentenced to 12 ½ to 29 years of prison for voluntary manslaughter