A family doctor on Long Island has an affair with a patient, who ends up divorced. Is that medical malpractice?
That’s the question for New York’s top court in a case set for oral arguments Wednesday.
A jury awarded Kristin Kahkonen Dupree $416,500 after finding that Dr. James E. Giugliano was 75 percent responsible for her mental distress and economic loss.
Their affair began in June 2001, 18 months after she sought treatment for emotional ailments he diagnosed as depression and panic attacks. The affair ended after nine months.
A midlevel court split 3-1 in ruling the damaging behavior was related to treatment that included talk therapy.
The dissenter said Dupree, who sued, acknowledged the consensual relationship was unrelated to her treatment.
Now it’s up to the Court of Appeals.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.