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Estates of Morgan v. Fairfield Family Counseling Center

Supreme Court of Ohio
673 N.E.2d 1311 (1997)


Facts

Matt Morgan was diagnosed with schizophrenia and suffered from paranoia and anger. Morgan’s doctor in Philadelphia prescribed medications to treat Morgan’s symptoms. When the symptoms subsided, Morgan moved to Ohio to live with his parents. In Ohio, Matt was treated as an outpatient by the Fairfield Family Counseling Center (FFCC) (defendant). FFCC staff took Morgan off of his medications. After that, Morgan began experiencing violent outbursts and put a deposit down on a gun. Morgan’s mother informed FFCC of these facts and that Morgan’s condition was deteriorating. Morgan’s mother asked FFCC to involuntarily hospitalize Morgan based on his change in behavior. After evaluating Morgan, FFCC chose not to involuntarily hospitalize him. Subsequently, Morgan killed his parents. The Estates of Morgan (estates) (plaintiff) brought suit against FFCC, claiming that FFCC breached its duty to control the violent acts of Morgan. The trial court granted FFCC’s motion for summary judgment. The estates appealed.

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Holding and Reasoning (Resnick, J.)

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Dissent (Stratton, J.)

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Dissent (Cook, J.)

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