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Substance Abuse Counselor & Psychologist Sued for Negligence

Two medical professionals in West Palm Beach, a psychologist and substance abuse counselor, are being sued by the family of a woman who killed her 10-year-old daughter and then herself in a tragic case of murder-suicide. In September 2013, Pamela Brooks stabbed her daughter Alex more than 20 times while she was conscious before turning the knife on herself. The lawsuit filed by the Brooks family members claim that the two men treating Pamela at the time were negligent in their care.

Claims of Negligent Care

The Brooks family filed their lawsuit against Pamela’s two care workers: Dr. Mark Agresti, a psychologist, and David Dashev, a substance abuse counselor. At the time of the deaths, Pamela had a history of alcohol dependence and impairment. She was arrested for a DUI in Palm Beach County with antidepressant medications in her system.

The lawsuit claims that the two men were negligent in their care of Pamela and should have known or warned that she was capable of such violence against her daughter or herself. The Brooks family alleges that Dr. Agresti and Mr. Dashev should have known that Pamela was suffering from severe anxiety or depression at the time of the murder-suicide and should have known that she was a serious risk to herself and others.

In addition, the lawsuit claims that both men failed to properly determine whether Pamela had thoughts of suicide around the time of the deaths and that they failed to properly treat her. This is not the first time that the two men have been sued for negligent care. Dr. Agresti and Mr. Dashev are currently facing another lawsuit from a former patient that claims that she paid them over $850,000 for two years of treatment that only caused her health to deteriorate and furthermore claims that she only got better once she left their care.

Florida Medical Malpractice

When a person seeks treatment for physical or mental illness, the expectation is that the medical professionals will help them get better. However, sometimes the people that are supposed to help end up harming their patients through negligent care. The pain of this situation can be exacerbated when it causes the patient to harm themselves or others because of the lack of care.

Typically, Florida law caps medical malpractice claims at $500,000 but it is possible to receive a verdict as high as $1,000,000 if the resulting harm puts a victim in a vegetative state, causes death, or was so catastrophically severe that it would be unjust not to award more in compensation. Furthermore, recent cases in front of the Florida Supreme Court may do away with medical malpractice caps on damages altogether and allow a jury to decide what to award for the pain that has been caused.

Call a Florida Attorney Today

If you or someone that you know has been injured by a medical professional in the West Palm Beach area, contact Gary Roberts & Associates. We will advocate on your behalf to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.

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