36-517.02 - Limitation of liability; exception; discharge of duty; immunity for disclosure
36-517.02. Limitation of liability; exception; discharge of duty; immunity for disclosure
A. There shall be no cause of action against a mental health provider nor shall legal liability be imposed for breaching a duty to prevent harm to a person caused by a patient, unless both of the following occur:
1. The patient has communicated to the mental health provider an explicit threat of imminent serious physical harm or death to a clearly identified or identifiable victim or victims, and the patient has the apparent intent and ability to carry out such threat.
2. The mental health provider fails to take reasonable precautions.
B. Any duty owed by a mental health provider to take reasonable precautions to prevent harm threatened by a patient is discharged by all of the following:
1. Communicating when possible the threat to all identifiable victims.
2. Notifying a law enforcement agency in the vicinity where the patient or any potential victim resides.
3. Taking reasonable steps to initiate proceedings for voluntary or involuntary hospitalization, if appropriate.
4. Taking any other precautions that a reasonable and prudent mental health provider would take under the circumstances.
C. Whenever a patient has explicitly threatened to cause serious harm to a person or whenever a mental health provider reasonably concludes that a patient is likely to do so, and the mental health provider, for the purpose of reducing the risk of harm, discloses a confidential communication made by or relating to the patient, the mental health provider shall be immune from liability resulting from such disclosure.
D. This section shall not limit and shall be in addition to any other statutory immunitites from liability of mental health providers or mental health treatment agencies as otherwise provided by law.