Court: Parents In Repressed Memory Case Can't Sue

CNN News, July 14, 2000

Madison, Wisconsin (AP) -- A couple who claims their adult daughter falsely accused them of abuse based on repressed memories can't sue her psychologists for malpractice, a court has ruled.

The 4th District Court of Appeals decided Thursday that Charlotte Johnson's parents had no standing to sue because their daughter had not joined the lawsuit or waived the confidentiality of her medical records.

The court said a patient's right to keep medical records confidential was paramount, and that without them, neither the Johnsons nor the therapists would have a fair chance to prove their cases.

Charles and Karen Johnson, of St. Louis, wanted to sue three psychologists for emotional injuries they suffered after their daughter accused them of sexual and physical abuse.

The couple denied the allegations and claimed they were falsely implanted in their daughter's memory by her therapists, according to court documents.

William Smoler, the Johnsons' lawyer, said they would appeal to the state Supreme Court.



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