An unnamed plaintiff claimed that his privacy was compromised and filed a malpractice suit after Burke Wise Morrissey & Kaveny LLC publicized winning a $4.2 million malpractice case, including details about the plaintiff’s mental health conditions, suicide attempt, and injuries. The Supreme Court of Illinois dismissed the malpractice lawsuit, as the plaintiff had already testified “in detail” about his history during a public trial, and willingly gave that information out during the trial.
As legal malpractice is a form of negligence, you must prove four elements.
- The attorney had a duty towards you.
- The duty that the attorney owed you was breached.
- The breach of duty caused harm
- You suffered an injury, financial or otherwise.
The plaintiff tried to claim malpractice because the firm illegally disclosed his medical information, but was unsuccessful in his claim. The Supreme Court of Illinois overturned the appellate court’s decision and found that there was no malpractice as the plaintiff’s medical couldn’t be made private again following a public trial. Justice P. Scott Neville Jr. Stated that “The information was shared during a public proceeding, and there is no indication in the record that an effort was made to seal the record from public view or access. Therefore, Doe’s public disclosure of his mental health information ‘took away its confidentiality,’ and it cannot regain its confidentiality after disclosure.” He also added that “Protections under the act are contingent upon whether the communications or records that were disclosed were made in the course of providing therapy or other mental health or developmental disability services,”
At the end of this case, it was made apparent that there was no legal malpractice on behalf of Burke Wise Morrissey & Kaveny LLC, and that the plaintiff’s information would not become private again. There was no negligence on behalf of the firm, as ruled by the Supreme Court of Illinois. The court found no basis to award the plaintiff any damages, and the case was dismissed.