November 4, 2005
Louisville psychiatrist advised a patient she would be a good candidate for an experimental drug. The woman, who had a history of bi-polar mania, improved during her time on the drug at the hospital, but when released complained of depression. Soon thereafter, the woman committed suicide. During trial, it was revealed that that the woman only started taking the real drug upon release from the hospital. The estate of the woman claimed mismanagement on part of the psychiatrist. The defense, led by Gerald Toner, convinced the jury that the double-blind study was appropriate, the woman’s mania was longstanding and progressively debilitating, and that it was this, not the psychiatrist’s care, that led to her suicide. The Jefferson County jury returned a verdict in favor of the doctor.