Date: Wed Dec 21 1994 11:07:26
From: Pete Porro
AP 19 Dec 94 14:46 EST V0669
Copyright 1994. The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.
DALLAS (AP) -- A psychiatrist has been ordered to pay $350,000 for telling
a woman's family that he believed her parents sexually abused her some 40
The parents, Edward and LaVerne Khatain, had sued, claiming Dr. Wayne Jones
slandered them when he revealed their daughter's claim to her husband and her
daughters, ages 17 to 23 at the time.
The woman, now 48, has since recanted the allegations of abuse and has
ended her six-year relationship with Jones, who said he acted appropriately.
"It fit like a glove with her entire history. Still does. It doesn't mean
it happened, but the history fit like a glove with her symptoms," Jones said.
The woman's symptoms included multiple personality disorder, depression and
years in the hospital, Jones said.
Jones said will appeal the Dec. 12 verdict awarding damages to the Khatains
for mental anguish and lost reputation.
In a similar case in Napa, Calif., in May, a jury awarded a father $500,000
in his malpractice suit against his daughter's therapists. He had claimed they
ruined his life by implanting false memories of child abuse in her mind.
On Friday, a Pittsburgh jury awarded $272,000 to a couple and their
teen-age daughter who'd sued a psychiatrist for allegedly failing to evaluate
the girl's sensational claims of sexual abuse by her parents.
As in the Napa case, the Dallas psychiatrist gave his patient sodium
amytal, sometimes called truth serum.
The Khatains' lawyer argued that the drug made it possible for Jones to
implant memories in his patient's mind.
"If she, in fact, did make those statements it is because the statements
had been suggested to her," lawyer Ben Martin said. "She had a long history of
psychological impairment, which she has since recovered from. ... Her word
should not have been relied upon."
Jones said he used the drug only to get additional information from the
woman, who was under the observation of several other professionals during the
When Jones summoned the family to his office in 1990, he told them he
believed the Khatains, who live in Seattle, had abused their daughter.
"This is the worst thing a person can say about another person -- that they
had sexually abused their children," Martin said. "To have their reputation
and themselves vilified and ostracized like this was probably the worst thing
they could have gone through."
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