Pingtella v. Jones (2003) – Case Brief Summary (New York)

In Pingtella v. Jones, 305 AD2d 38, 758 N.Y.S.2d 717 (4th Dept 2003) plaintiff alleged that the defendant doctor's treatment of plaintiff's wife constituted malpractice resulting in her stabbing their child.

The complaint alleged, inter alia, that defendant failed to warn family members that the patient was experiencing psychotic episodes and, on appeal, plaintiff contended that the defendant owed a duty to the child to render proper and appropriate medical care to the mother.

In determining that no special relationship existed, the Court noted that the patient did not seek treatment from the doctor to prevent injury to the son, rather, defendant treated the patient to improve her mental health.

The Court further noted that defendant had no control over the patient's conduct and the patient had no history of violence.