Woman Settles for $10.6 Million with Her Former Psychiatrist and Chicago Hospital over Allegations she had been Brainwashed to Believe she was a Satanic High Priestess

Chicago Daily Herald/November 4, 1997

A Lombard woman on Monday reached a $10.6 million record settlement with her former psychiatrist and a Chicago hospital over allegations she had been brainwashed into believing she was a satanic high priestess who had abused her children and been tortured herself.

After a six-year legal battle in Cook county Circuit Court, the woman, Patricia A. Burgus, 41, agreed to the settlement with Rush- Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center and psychiatrist Bennett G. Braun.


The settlement is the largest in the world for a case involving recovered-memory therapy, said R. Christopher Barden, a psychologist and attorney who has been involved in about 20 similar cases across the nation and who represented Burgus.


Attorneys for Burgus said they were prepared, if the case had gone to trial, to call on experts from Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University and the University of California at Berkeley in support of their case.

"Psychologists have known for 100 years that false memories can be implanted using hypnosis," Barden said.

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