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Medical Malpractice Suit Filed After Son Murders Mother

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The Atlantic Journal Constitution reported that the father of a man who murdered his mother in a psychotic rage, has filed a medical malpractice lawsuit seeking damages from his son’s psychiatrist.

Victor Bruscato was assigned to Dr. Derek Johnson O’Brien’s community health center in Gwinnett, where he was on anti-psychotic drugs that helped him control his violent tendencies and sexual urges. In May of 2002, O’Brien discontinued two of Victor’s medications. In August 2002, Victor turned violent, smashed his mother, Lillian Lynn Bruscato, in the head with a battery charger and then stabbed her 72 times. He was charged with murder, but found incompetent to stand trial. Victor Bruscato was then committed to a state mental institution.

Vito Bruscato, Victor’s father, sued O’Brien for medical malpractice, claiming it was negligence that caused his son to kill Lillian. O’Brien argued that longstanding restrictions bar families involved in crimes to profit from wrongful or illegal acts.  A judge agreed, and ruled in O’Brien’s favor, but the state Court of Appeals reversed the decision.

While the state Supreme Court is weighing the complex case, an attorney for Bruscato said that “fundamental fairness” requires the court to allow the case to go forward, because if the psychiatrists actions caused Victor to become psychotic, then Vito would be entitled to damages.

An attorney for O’Brien said that the blame should not be shifted from Victor to O’Brien, and that 150 years of case law and public policy make it clear that “a person should not be able to sue for recovery of such a wrongful and immoral act.” disclaimer: This article: Medical Malpractice Suit Filed After Son Murders Mother was posted on Tuesday, July 19th, 2011 at 6:50 pm at and is filed under Uncategorized.

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