Aiyisha Gillespie was crazy long before she ran over Kathie Larson with her car in downtown Tacoma in 2008. A convicted felon with a long history of mental illness and psychotic crimes, Gillespie's attack was seemingly random, and left Larson with brain damage. Since then, Larson has managed to successfully sue the Washington Department of Corrections for $4.25 million. Now she wants Dr. Julie Farrington, the psychiatrist who treated Gillespie, to pay too. Why? Because she says that her lack of skill in curing Gillespie's mental illness is the principal reason she got run over.
Larson's suit against Farrington contends the Gig Harbor psychiatrist "utterly failed" to ensure Gillespie was not dangerous to be on the streets.
Apparently Dr. Farrington treated Gillespie with anti-psychotic drugs and mood stabilizers, but had trouble getting her to take the drugs consistently--an issue she noted in her evaluations.
Regardless, the lawsuit states:
"Dr. Farrington accepted the responsibility of treating a mentally ill patient who had a history of attacking strangers during psychotic breaks but undertook insufficient measures . . . to reduce or maintain the level of Aiyisha Gillespie's risk to the community,"
The kind of precedent that such a case--if successful--would set for mental health professionals could change the landscape of the entire profession.