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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Beverly Lois Taylor began seeing John Carley, a Ph.D.-holding psychologist, in September 1998 for issues she was having with her marriage and in the wake of her returning to the workforce for the first time in many years. After giving Taylor several computerized tests, evaluations and counseling session, Carley diagnosed Taylor as having attention deficit disorder (ADD). Carley told Taylor that he wanted her to see a psychiatrist or another medical doctor to evaluate her condition and determine what medication she might need. Carley told Taylor that John Steffek, a psychiatrist, rented office space from Carley and might be able to see her, though he also told Taylor that Steffek usually treated children and adolescents. Taylor chose to go to Steffek. Based on his early access to Taylor’s records and a meeting with Taylor, Steffek considered whether Taylor might also have attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. He eventually did find seven of nine ADHD symptoms present and diagnosed her with having ADHD, generalized anxiety disorder and mixed personality with compulsive dependent features. After putting Taylor through some medical tests, Steffek first gave her Dexedrine tablets and told her to then return to Carley to retake his tests. She did so, and reported that she felt better and that she did better of the tests. Steffek then prescribed Adderall for Taylor, instructing her on how she should gradually increase her dosage. Taylor saw Steffek a month later, in February 1999, and then again every two months. Taylor said she started experiencing headaches and weight loss while taking between 25 to 40 milligrams of Adderall per day. Steffek did not check Taylor’s blood pressure during this time. Taylor saw Carley two times after she started taking the Adderall, and told him she was doing well. When she started missing additional appointments, Carley would call to reschedule, but Taylor eventually stopped going. In September 1999, Taylor was taken to the hospital with various symptoms. She was found to have had a stroke. Taylor and her husband, on behalf of themselves and their four children, sued Carley, Steffek, three Walgreen entities and Adderall’s maker and supplier. Taylor alleged that Carley was negligent in: 1. failing to assess and evaluate Taylor’s status and response to medical treatment and to report such findings to the physician; 2. failing to assess and diagnose Taylor’s condition accurately; 3. failing to assess the true extent of the symptoms from which Taylor suffered; 4. failing, on Taylor’s subsequent visits, to perform an assessment of the side-effects of Adderall; 5. ignoring Taylor’s reports of symptoms associated with side-effects from Adderall; and 6. deviating from the standard of care for a psychologist treating a patient with complaints like Taylor’s. Carley, in response, moved for summary judgment on traditional grounds, raising four main points: 1. he had no duty to assess and evaluate Taylor’s status and response to medical treatment or to report such findings to the physician; 2. he had no duty to accurately assess and diagnose Taylor’s condition for the purposes of evaluating her need for medication, contraindications to any medication, such as Adderall, or the side effects or symptoms associated with Adderall; 3. he had no duty to assess the true extent of the symptoms Taylor was suffering from as they were related to symptoms Taylor claims to have sustained as a result of taking Adderall; and 4. he had no duty to perform an assessment of the side-effects of Adderall on Taylor’s subsequent visits. In support of his points, Carley provided deposition testimony from himself, Steffek and Taylor. Carley also moved for a no-evidence summary judgment, arguing there was no evidence of duty, breach of duty or proximate cause. Taylor contested Carley’s reliance on his and Steffek’s deposition testimony because they were both interested parties. Taylor’s summary judgment evidence consisted of the same deposition testimony, two experts’ affidavits and the hospital discharge notes for Taylor. Without stating the grounds, the trial court granted Carley’s summary judgment motion on all of Taylor’s claims. The claims against Carley were severed from the ones against the remaining defendants. HOLDING:Affirmed. Taylor says fact issues remain regarding whether Carley breached the alleged psychologist-patient duty by misdiagnosing Taylor’s condition, and whether Taylor suffered damages as a result of medication prescribed by the psychiatrist to whom. Carley referred Taylor in foreseeable reliance on the alleged misdiagnosis. For the sake of analysis, the court assumes the existence of a duty owed to Taylor. Nonetheless, the court finds no question remaining over whether Carley’s alleged negligence was the proximate cause of Taylor’s injuries. Taylor laid out this causal chain: 1. Carley misdiagnosed Taylor as having ADD/ADHD; 2. Carley referred Taylor to Steffek; 3. Steffek also misdiagnosed Taylor as having ADD/ADHD; 4. Steffek prescribed Adderall for Taylor’s condition and had Taylor self-monitor the effects of the medication; 5. Taylor took more than the recommended dose of Adderall; and 6. the Adderall caused Taylor to have adverse side effects and eventually suffer a stroke. The court points out that there are at least three events intervening between Carley’s diagnosis and Taylor’s stroke. Taylor did not have any summary judgment evidence showing that Steffek based his decision and treatment on Carley’s diagnosis, or that Carley knew or should have known of the potential adverse consequences of Adderall on Taylor. “In light of Dr. Steffek’s and Mrs. Taylor’s roles in the chain of events and the lack of evidence that Dr. Steffek’s allegedly wrongful act was a concurrent act, as opposed to a new and independent cause, Mrs. Taylor’s summary-judgment evidence is insufficient to raise a genuine issue of fact on the element of proximate cause.” The court then holds without much discussion that a psychologist does not have a duty to monitor or follow the progress of a former patient who is no longer seeing the psychologist but is seeing a physician to whom the psychologist referred the patient. OPINION:Frost, J.; Hedges, Frost and Guzman, JJ.

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