Court-Appointed Mental Health Evaluator Owes a Limited Duty of Care to the Person Being Examined

Harris v. Kreutzer, 624 S.E.2d 24 (Va. 2006)

A health care provider typically owes a duty of care to an individual with whom a professional relationship has been established, including a duty to exercise reasonable care in diagnosing and treating the individual.   Mental health professionals, however, are also often asked to provide court-ordered evaluations of litigants in civil proceedings or criminal defendants.  The Virginia Supreme Court has indicated that mental health professionals in this context also owe a duty of care to these individuals, albeit a limited duty, and that they may be liable for damages if that duty is breached...

Found in DMHL Volume 25 Issue 2