The Pennsylvania Superior Court has ruled that a psychiatric facility is not liable for negligence for a sexual assault on one of its counselors by a patient…law.com, Psychiatric Facility Not Liable for Patient’s Sexual Assault of Counselor, Court Rules, P.J. D’Annunzio, 2020

Plaintiff Michelle Grabowski filed a negligence suit against the company, Carelink Community Support Services, on the basis that it was negligent and should be held liable under the Workers’ Compensation Act’s third-party attack and personal attack exceptions.

However, Grabowski has already been awarded $75,000 in workers’ compensation benefits and also received an additional $40,000 from the defendant as part of a compromise and release agreement. The court argued that while passive receipt of workers’ compensation benefits does not necessarily bar a negligence claim, “Where, however, there [is a] final adjudication in a workers’ compensation proceeding that the injury is covered by the WCA, the employee is stopped from claiming that the personal animus/third party attack exception applies.”

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Kayur V. Patel, MD, MRO, FACP, FACPE, FACHE, FACEP
KayurVPatel@ExpertWitness.MD