HANCOCK — The Michigan State Supreme Court will soon hear arguments about whether a therapist can be held responsible when the use of recovered memory therapy leads to false accusations.
The matter stems from a lawsuit filed by Lale and Joan Roberts of Watton, alleging in 2009 Hancock counselor Kathryn Salmi induced false memories from their daughter.
Those “memories” led to a series of sexual assault accusations aimed at the girl’s father. An investigation was conducted but no charges were ever filed. The circuit court ruled that a third party, in this case the parents, could not sue the therapist for damages.
A Court of Appeals overturned that decision in December 2014 and the State Supreme Court agreed in September of last year to hear the case.
The court will consider whether a mental health professional has a duty of care to third parties who might foreseeably be harmed by the use of techniques that cause a patient to have false memories of sexual abuse.
The State Supreme Court will hear arguments on this matter in Lansing on April 6th.
If the court rules that therapists do have a duty of care to third parties in these cases…then the original lawsuit against Salmi will continue on the circuit court level.
Salmi has denied using recovered memory techniques.