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Torts Keyed to Duncan
Thapar v. Zezulka
Citation:994 S.W.2d 635 (Tex. 1999)
Freddy Ray Lilly was diagnosed by Dr. Renu Thapar (defendant) with moderate to severe post-traumatic stress disorder, alcohol abuse, and paranoia and delusional beliefs about his stepfather, Henry Zezulka. After three years of treatment, and during one week of hospitalization, Lilly told the defendant he “felt like killing” Zezulka but had decided not to. A month after his release, Lilly killed Zezulka. Lyndall Zezulka (plaintiff), Zezulka’s wife and Lilly’s mother, sued the defendant for negligently treating and diagnosing Lilly, and for negligently failing to warn anyone of Lilly’s threats against Zezulka. The defendant moved for summary judgment on the grounds that he did not owe a duty to Zezulk.
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