Warshafsky Rotter Tarnoff Bloch, S.C.

Warshafsky Fights for Monetary Future of Slain Woman's Children

Actions of Counseling Center and Therapists Questionable

Wrongful Death AttorneyOn a spring day in Sussex, Wisconsin, Mary and her two young children (a 4-year-old and 6-year-old) were relaxing at their apartment home. The weather had been unseasonably warm and everyone was feeling the excited anticipation of even better days ahead. Suddenly, there was a loud crash and the picture window of their living room shattered into pieces. It was Mary’s former boyfriend, Greg, hurling himself through the window with a 12-gauge shotgun in hand. In front of the two terrified, screaming children, he shot Mary to death and then turned the gun on himself.

Wrongful Death Attorneys Prove Murder Could Have Been Stopped

As it turned out, Greg had been in counseling over a pending breakup with Mary. Just one month prior to his murderous rampage, Greg had told counselors he was so angry about the breakup that he was planning to kill Mary and then himself. Believing the sanctity of the patient-counselor confidentiality agreement trumped common sense, the counselors simply referred Greg to a private psychotherapist rather than taking steps to notify Mary or the police. Left without their mother, the traumatized children were reunited with their father in Illinois, where they would begin the long and difficult process of healing from the horror of what they witnessed.

In pursuing a lawsuit against the counseling center and its therapists, Warshafsky wrongful death attorneys successfully argued that the center and its therapists had an ethical obligation to warn the victim or contact the police when a credible threat was made upon Mary’s life. Although the center and its therapists made no acknowledgment of any negligence in their out of court settlement, the director of the counseling center did state publicly the murder has made them all more likely to involve the police sooner if a client expresses any suicidal or homicidal ideas.

$1 Million Settlement For Children's Future

Admittedly, the one million dollar settlement in this case is a paltry compensation for what these children endured. Fact is, no amount of money can make up for the loss of these kids’ mother. However, it should be noted this case was settled some years back and $1 million back then would be the equivalent of $1.7 million in 2014. Certainly enough to provide for the children’s needs and send them to college.

INJURED? It IS About The Money.®

The Madison personal injury attorneys of Warshafsky Law have a long history of Society Changing Judgments in more fields than just car accident lawsuits. In this particular case, the settlement was more than a financial payout. It was a wakeup call to counseling centers and therapists all across Wisconsin—and beyond. No longer are counselors obligated to keep quiet when a client expresses an intent to kill someone, and no longer can clients feel free to share their crazy plans for murder without the police getting involved. Amen!

Contact our Madison wrongful death attorneys for a free case evaluation.
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