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Thapar v. Zezulka
Texas Supreme Court
994 S.W.2d 635 (Tex. 1999)
Freddy Lilly received psychiatric treatment from Dr. Renu Thapar (defendant). Thapar generally treated Lilly as an outpatient, but he was occasionally admitted to the hospital. Thapar’s treatment notes reflect that Lilly sometimes had homicidal feelings, and in August of 1988, Lilly stated to Thapar that he felt like killing his stepfather, Henry Zezulka, but had decided not to do it. Lilly was hospitalized for seven days following that treatment session. Within a month, Lilly shot and killed Zezulka. Lyndall Zezulka (plaintiff), Henry Zezulka’s wife and Lilly’s mother, sued Thapar, alleging negligence for not warning anyone of Lilly’s threats and for negligently diagnosing Lilly. Thapar filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that Thapar did not owe any duty to Zezulka or Lyndall. The trial court denied the motion, and the court of appeals partially affirmed. Thapar petitioned the Texas Supreme Court for review.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Enoch, J.)
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