Shin v. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Massachusetts Superior Court
19 Mass. L. Rptr. 570 (2005)
Shin enrolled as a freshman at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) (defendant) in the fall of 1998. Prior to her arrival on campus, Shin was notified that the MIT Medical Department provided a wide range of physical and mental health services to its students. By the spring of 1999, Shin began experiencing mental health issues while at MIT. In February of 1999, Shin was hospitalized following an overdose of prescription medication. The housemaster for Shin’s dormitory, with Shin’s consent, notified Shin’s parents of her hospitalization. After being released from the hospital, Shin began receiving outpatient mental health treatment at MIT’s Mental Health Services Department. There, she was treated by several MIT psychiatrists over the next 15 months. During this time, her psychiatrists as well as MIT administrators were notified by students and professors of multiple instances in which Shin had made suicidal comments or gestures and had inflicted self-harm by cutting herself. Shin was treated by multiple MIT psychiatrists, was prescribed medication, and was admitted to the MIT Infirmary on one occasion for observation. In March of 2000, Shin’s mental health began to deteriorate rapidly. Shin’s parents were once again notified by MIT administrators. Despite multiple visits to the MIT Mental Health Department and appointments with MIT psychiatrists, Shin committed suicide on April 10, 2000. Shin’s parents (plaintiffs) filed a lawsuit against MIT, its medical professionals, administrators, and the campus police alleging multiple claims of breach of contract, negligence, and wrongful death. The various defendants moved for summary judgment.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (McEvoy, J.)
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