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Ryans v. Lowell

Decided: October 23, 1984.

GERALD J. RYANS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
EDWARD LOWELL, M.D., DEFENDANT-RESPONDENT



On appeal from Superior Court, Law Division, Monmouth County.

Fritz and Deighan. The opinion of the court was delivered by Deighan, J.A.D.

Deighan

In this action plaintiff Gerald J. Ryans, alleges defendant Edward Lowell, M.D., a psychiatrist, made an improper diagnosis of plaintiff's condition by failing to examine the plaintiff and then making recommendations to the New Jersey Commission for Blind and Visually Impaired (Commission). Plaintiff contends that as a result of these recommendations, plaintiff's benefits from the Commission were terminated. Plaintiff appeals from a summary judgment in favor of defendant dismissing the complaint. We affirm.

Gerald Ryans had been a client of the Commission for many years having received numerous benefits including vocational training. Defendant is a psychiatrist retained by the Commission on a fee basis as a medical consultant. In August 1980, apparently in response to an application by plaintiff for further benefits, the Commission requested defendant to review the file of plaintiff for an evaluation. After his review of the file, defendant on August 6, 1980 prepared a handwritten memorandum as follows:

FROM: Dr. Lowell

SUBJECT: GERALD RYANS

I have overseen this C's case for a decade now. Clearly he is not FEASIBLE for REHABILITATION and the case should be closed as such. ALL data supports this; events have supported the data. Being intimidated by C, capitulating to his demands, manipulations, etc merely and malignantly feed his "act".

PAG felt him to be psychotic years ago.

PSYCHIATRIC opinion is: close out as (illegible) rehab . . . immediately.

Case has chance -- a declaredly remote chance of being re-opened IF meets both, not either of 2 requirements.

viz; (1) He allow, authorize and permit full disclosure of all pertinent (we determine this) data regarding his medical (illegible) state, including & especially psychiatric treatments, examinations & HOSPITALIZATIONS.

(2) He agree NOW to having psychiatric evaluation IF that is DETERMINED APPROPRIATE AFTER #(1) COMPLETED.

(3) He comply with rules, regulations, policies & practices of N.J.C.B. & not operate outside of channels.

Capitulation to his machinations is counter productive, counter rehabilitative, counter-therapeutic -- and unconscionable squandering futilely of Commission funds.

This report was placed in plaintiff's file with other documents and was subsequently brought to the attention of Norma F. Krajczar, ...


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