Argyle woman sues clinic

The Times Plus/June 19, 2002
By Brian Gray

Monroe -- A six-week trial began this week in a medical malpractice suit filed by an Argyle woman against The Monroe Clinic, Drs. William Bell, Robert C. Beck and Rachel A. Long and their insurance companies.

Marilyn Daly, her husband Thomas Daly and son Jonathan Daly filed the suit in February 1998 in Green County Circuit Court. The suit alleges Beck, a clinical psychologist and Bell and Long, psychiatrists, misdiagnosed Marilyn Daly as having multiple personality disorder and implanted false memories of physical and sexual abuse through hypnosis, guided imagery and age regression. The incidents allegedly took place between Aug. 6, 1992 and May 13, 1993 at The Monroe Clinic where the doctors were employed.

The suit also contends Beck failed to tell Daly the risks involved with the treatments and inform her about other treatments available. Daly allegedly did not discover the injuries until after Feb. 6, 1997.

Daly suffered pain and disability as a result of the misdiagnosis and treatments, according to the suit. She also required medical, psychiatric and psychological care. The suit alleges Daly was unable to work and live a normal life.

The Monroe Clinic was named as a defendant because it was negligent and failed to supervise the doctors, according to the suit. Beck and Bell no longer work for the Clinic.

Ellen Swan, director of community relations with The Monroe Clinic, said the clinic supports its practitioners and hopes the trial comes to a conclusion soon.

Attorney William Smoller, who represents the Dalys, refused to comment on the case Tuesday night as did defense attorney Jeremy Gill of Manitowoc. Reserve Judge Thomas H. Barland, from Eau Claire, issued a gag order which prevents all parties involved from commenting on the case.

Smoller and Pam Smoller, Monona, are representing the Dalys. Gill and Curtis Swanson, David McFarlane and Bradford Liddle, all of Madison, are representing the defendants.

Thomas Daly, who is the current Green County board chairman, and Jonathan Daly claim they have suffered from a loss of support because of the misdiagnosis, according to the suit.

Daly's daughter, under cross examination this morning, said her brother Jonathan told her he had been abused by a priest in December 1992 but admitted the following month it wasn't true. He just wanted his mother to feel better knowing someone else in the family had been sexually abused.

She said she began to believe in 1997 that repressed memories cannot happen and gave her mother books on whether there's such a thing. The daughter and her father later made an appointment with an attorney because they believe Marilyn Daly was suffering from false memories.

The daughter, wearing a purple suit, appeared calm but asked the attorney more than once to repeat questions.

The jury and about 20 people, including several tables of attorneys, listened to her testimony.

The 12-member jury and four alternates selected Monday include four men and 12 women. One of the potential jurors said Tuesday defense attorneys asked the jury pool if they would hesitate to award money, up to millions of dollars, in a lawsuit. The suit seeks unspecified damages.

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