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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Bradley Guile’s wife, Emiko Guile, was admitted to an inpatient psychiatric ward for military dependents and retirees after she was found unconscious at home by her 4-year-old daughter and her husband after overdosing on her antidepressant medication. She had been receiving treatment for depression and other mental problems for seven years. Emiko’s psychiatrist while she was admitted to the inpatient ward was Dr. Cristina Cruz, a part-time independent contractor with PHP Healthcare Corporation (PHP), which had been contracted by the military to provide psychiatric services for dependents and retirees. Cruz treated Emiko from May 13 until Tuesday, June 9, when she left for a few days’ vacation. From June 9 through June 12, Dr. Cecilia DeVargas, another PHP contractor psychiatrist, covered for Cruz in treating Guile. Beginning on the evening of June 12, Dr. Milton Anderson, an active duty Army officer and psychiatrist, was the on-call physician covering the inpatient ward for the weekend. On the morning of Sunday, July 14, Emiko was found dead in her room. She had hung herself from a door hinge of an armoire in the room, using the belt from her bathrobe. Bradley Guile appeals the district court’s dismissal of his claims against the United States under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) and the district court’s granting of Cruz’s motion for judgment as a matter of law regarding liability for the death of Guile’s wife. HOLDING:Affirmed. Guile argues that the testimony of his expert, Dr. George Meyer, established breaches of the relevant standard of care. The breaches that Guile contends were established are: improper drug dosing, lack of necessary suicide precautions, improper handling of test results, failure to re-evaluate the treatment plan, failure to transfer Emiko to another hospital, improper discussion of discharge with Emiko, improper sending of Emiko out on a pass and failure to have the armoires removed from Emiko’s room. But the court finds that many of the alleged breaches described come from statements of Meyer that are unsupported by any data (such as studies evaluating treatment techniques), in addition to being later contradicted by him, or to be nothing but his incorrect factual assumptions based on examination of incomplete records. The court holds that the contradictions, coupled with the lack of support for the statements, take them out of the realm of substantive evidence. The court points out that even to the extent Guile could establish any breaches of the standard of care, there can be no liability unless such breaches are shown to be a proximate cause of Emiko’s death. The court notes that Meyer stated generally that “in totality” all breaches by all the multiple actors involved combined to cause Emiko’s suicide. The court holds that such unexplained, conclusory statements do not establish proximate cause for any particular breach or combination of particular breaches by Cruz, because they do not describe or state how any particular asserted breach or breaches by Cruz related to the suicide and do not state that without Cruz’s alleged breach or breaches the suicide would not have occurred. Guile next argues that the district court erred in applying the discretionary function exception to the FTCA to dismiss his nonmedical claims against the United States. Liability under the FTCA does not apply to claims “based upon the exercise or performance or the failure to exercise or perform a discretionary function or duty on the part of a federal agency or an employee of the Government, whether or not the discretion involved be abused.” Liability under the FTCA does not apply to claims “based upon the exercise or performance or the failure to exercise or perform a discretionary function or duty on the part of a federal agency or an employee of the Government, whether or not the discretion involved be abused.” But the court holds that Guile’s argument that governmental medical judgments are not covered by the discretionary function exception is not applicable to his claims against the government, since the claims do not involve governmental medical judgments at all. Because the complained-of actions by the United States were discretionary functions, the court holds that the district court was correct to dismiss Guile’s nonmedical claims against the United States under the discretionary function exception to the FTCA. OPINION:Garwood, J.; Garwood, Smith and Clement, JJ.

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