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Richard Korn Obtains Dismissal and Judgment for Social Worker Client

Richard Korn recently successfully argued for the dismissal of their client, a social worker, in a healthcare malpractice case featured in local media stories and on numerous websites and web blogs. The case, pending in the Circuit Court of St. Louis County, arose out of child custody proceedings between the Plaintiff and her ex-husband. During the course of those proceedings, the family law judge appointed Richard’s client, a licensed clinical social worker, to provide reunification therapy for the Plaintiff’s two minor children. Plaintiff claimed that the social worker’s reunification therapy fell below the standard of care and that as a result thereof Plaintiff’s relationship with her children was irreparably harmed. Plaintiff further claimed that the social worker breached fiduciary duties and violated the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act during the course of the reunification therapy. In defending their client, Richard successfully contended that the social worker, as a court-appointed therapist, was entitled to quasi-judicial immunity for any actions and/or omissions arising out of the therapy she provided. They further argued that the Plaintiff did not have a cognizable claim against their client given there was no healthcare-provider patient relationship between the Plaintiff and the social worker. After oral arguments of nearly four hours, the trial judge ultimately granted their Motion to Dismiss and entered judgment in favor of the social worker. The matter is currently on appeal.