Husband finishes testifying

The Times Plus/June 22, 2002
By Kareesa Wilson

Monroe -- Monroe Clinic doctors were out to destroy the Daly family, Thomas Daly agreed Friday in the fourth day of a jury trial for a medical malpractice lawsuit the Dalys filed against three doctors, The Monroe Clinic and their insurance companies.

Daly finished testifying Friday after more than two days on the stand. Marilyn and Tom Daly and their son Jonathan filed the suit in February 1998 in Green County Circuit Court alleging Drs. Wendell Bell and Rachel Long, both psychiatrists, and Dr. Robert C. Beck, a psychologist, implanted false memories of childhood sexual abuse and trauma during hypnosis sessions and misdiagnosed Marilyn Daly with multiple personalities syndrome. The incidents allegedly took place between Aug. 6, 1992 and May 13, 1993 at The Monroe Clinic where the doctors were employed. The six-week trial began Monday before reserve judge Thomas H. Barland of Eau Claire.

During cross-examination by Beck and the Clinic's attorney, David McFarlane of Madison, Daly said even when Beck urged him and his wife to work on better communication and told him to take extra safety precautions to protect Marilyn, it was all part of a bigger plan. "I believe that Dr. Beck had a plan and encouraging me to support my wife was part of that plan," he said.

McFarlane again asked if Daly believed all the advice Beck gave him and Marilyn was part of "a devious scheme to destroy your family." Daly agreed it was.

Daly also admitted he did not challenge Marilyn on whether the memories were true or not because he was afraid she might kill herself. "Did it surprise you that Dr. Beck shared that view," McFarlane asked Daly. The attorney continued to pinpoint court documents that proved "at some point in time Dr. Beck said that he didn't believe a memory was true."

Marilyn Daly told her husband that her father was verbally and physically abusive when he had been drinking, McFarlane pointed out during cross-examination. He also pointed to previous testimony that before Marilyn Daly's mother died, she allegedly told her daughter that bad things happened to Marilyn as a child.

McFarlane also pointed out that Marilyn Daly did not drop Beck as her therapist for more than two years.

The insurance companies' attorney Jeremy Gill asked Daly if it was true his wife volunteered at the hospital for two years but quit when the lawsuit was filed in 1997 because she didn't want to run into people associated with the court action.

Daly said it was true that Marilyn Daly was trying to avoid Beck and became anxious and distressed when she ran into him around town. He recounted Daly's final therapy session when she came home and said "I will never be alone in the room with that man again."

She said Beck told her that to get over the memory of an anal rape as a child, she should get down on her hands and knees and shriek to relive the pain.

Marilyn Daly, who was seated in the courtroom, left when her husband described the incident.

The Dalys claim the downward slope began in 1990 when Marilyn signed up for a weight loss program at the Clinic. By 1991 she had lost more than 100 pounds.

Dr. Steven Heymsfield, an internist doctor specializing in obesity and weight loss from Columbia University in New York, testified Friday after being asked to review only the records on the weight-loss program Marilyn took part in. He said he saw no evidence of previous psychological conditions. He said she was referred to Beck after she became overly distressed during the "refeeding" portion of the fasting program. He said people normally get upset at this time, but Marilyn Daly's distress was extreme.

Daly has testified Beck told him sometimes a tremendous weight loss can trigger the mind to remember suppressed incidents.

The trial was set to continue at 8:15 a.m. Monday.

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