Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Allegations Against Psychiatrist Apparently Unfounded (Exclusive 6-28-08 Update)


Terre Haute, Indiana ( June 19) Last week, a Vigo County jury found Surjit Singh, M.D. did not commit medical malpractice in the treatment of three patients. Three plaintiff's Betsy Calderhead, Cara Nichols, and Diane Lyday claimed in a five day civil trial that their psychiatrist, Dr. Singh inappropriately touched them during treatment. Dr. Singh was defended by Jeffrey Boyll. Plaintiff's were represented by attorneys Eric A. Frey and John Nichols. This medical malpractice case arose from allegations of sexual misconduct by Dr. Surjit Singh during psychiatric appointments of these three patients.
Betsy Calderhead treated with Dr. Singh from February of 1996 until March 16, 2000. She alleged that he sexual groped her during office visits between January 6, 2000 and March of 2000.

Diane Lyday treated with Dr. Singh from February 21, 2000 until March 5, 2001. She alleged that Dr. Singh groped her one time, although she did not specify the date of the incident. Cara White Nichols treated with Dr. Singh from September 24, 1998 through April 12, 2000. She alleged that Dr. Singh abused her during several office visits in exchange for prescriptions for Xanax.

Dr. Singh denied that any improper conduct occurred. The expert medical review panel consisting of three physicians concluded that there were material issues of fact, not requiring expert opinion, bearing on liability. The panel opinion was introduced at trial, but none of the physicians on the panel were called as witnesses.

Dr. Singh called two female patients who testified that they had been approached by plaintiffs, asking them to lie by saying that Dr. Singh had inappropriately touched them too. Dr. Singh also called his office staff , and his wife. Dr. Singh's wife was actually the office manager at the time of the allegations. The staff all testified that they had no indication of any sexual improprieties.

After three hours of deliberation, the jury returned verdicts in favor of Dr. Singh against all three plaintiffs.
Update: 7-20-07: Plaintiff's attorneys have filed a Motion to Correct Errors alleging that they have new information (more witnesses) and thus deserve a new trial. It is anticipated that the defense will argue that it is merely cumulative evidence and thus no new trial is warranted. If the Motion to Correct Errors is denied, then Plaintiffs may initiate an appeal to the Indiana Appellate Court.

8-17-07 Apparently the Judge has granted the Motion to Correct Errors and ordered a new trial. The Defendant will apparently appeal the Judges decision to grant a new trial.

Update 6-28-08: The Appellate Court has apparently reversed Judge Eldred's order for a new trial. The Defendant's verdict apparently will be reinstated.

Update 6-30-08: The Appellate Court's decision may be read here: LINK

Update 5-4-09: Case closed. The case was remanded to the local court. A special judge then proceeded to dismiss the action. This one is a victory for the defense.

47 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a jury did not buy these claims. Who would fondle a patient with his wife in the same office?

Anonymous said...

Glad to see some of these folks are actually innocent. Allegations looked pretty bad until something called proof apparently came along...

Anonymous said...

I feel sorry for the doctor who was wrongfully accused.

Anonymous said...

A doctor has enough opportunity to get the attention of abled body women that it is unlikely he would need to fondle mental patients.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to talk to the attorneys. Why did the jury take 3 hrs to deliberate if there was no proof? Or is 3 hrs a short deliberation?


Rhonda

Anonymous said...

What a bunch of whackos... and I mean the attorneys who took this case against the poor doctor.

Anonymous said...

for the attoneys. it is all about money

Anonymous said...

Singh must have given them a swan song.

Don't really know the plaintiffs or the defendant but could not resist the pun

Anonymous said...

No substitute for good lawyering.

Legal Pub said...

Yes, the lawyer did a good job. But it also apparently involved a good defendant and excellent witnesses.

Three hours is not a long time give that it was three cases. I once successfully defended two malpractice claims at the same time (mother and unborn child) and the jury was out about 3 hours.

Yes, some defendants are innocent.Thank goodness jurors still follow the law and demand proof, in most cases.

Actually, both Plaintiff attorneys are competent and are not "whacko." However, case selection is not always their strongest asset.

Ms. Calabaza said...

What a nighmare for this guy. Anyone can make allegations for a variety of reasons... and your life as you know it is over.

Anonymous said...

Yup, only think worse is being accused of child molestation.


James

Anonymous said...

How many more Kooks will read this or hear about it and make allegations about Dr. Singh?

Virginia

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the near exclusive story.

As always, you guys have the best coverage of interesting stories with a legal interest.




Vinny

Anonymous said...

Will there be other patients who try to sue?

Anonymous said...

Seems like there should be a screening process.

Anonymous said...

Wonder how the wife felt?

Legal Pub said...

I am relatively certain that the doctor's wife did not like the process. However, as I understand it, she stood by his side and supported him throughout the trial.

Anonymous said...

Seems unusual for all 3 plaintiffs to be able to sue in court at the same time.

Viper said...

This case was just as ridiculous as the Pearson v. Chung (Dry cleaners suit) Quite frankly, I am shocked the mainstream media has not published this story.

Ridiculous allegations come in all shapes and sizes.

Legal Pub said...

The fact that all 3 cases were tried at once makes this case very unusual. In fact, the number of plaintiffs and how the case was tried is so rare, that in itself is news worthy.

Anonymous said...

Whether is was 3 cases or just one, this had to be a nightmare for the doctor. I feel for him and his family.

Gerry

Anonymous said...

Poor man. Living nightmare. Glad to see he won.

Anonymous said...

Good for the Doc!

Anonymous said...

Just going through this trial had to be a lot of punishment for the man.

I just hope the Dr. can continue to practice without fearing more such suits...

Anonymous said...

Those patients are idiots....i wish i could slap those people

Anonymous said...

WOW THOSE PATIENTS DESERVE TO GO TO HELL....THE DOCTOR IS A WELL STOOD MAN... THOSE PATIENTS ARE JUST IN IT FOR THE $

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the insight. It appears to me that the Doc was falsely and wrongfully accused.

What a cross to bear...

Anonymous said...

Those patients apparently thought they would "sing" like a canary. Instead, it sounds like their communicated message was heard as guinea pig grunts by the jury.

Anonymous said...

How were you able to scoop all the major news outlets on this story? I bet they were upset that they did not pick up on it until after you ran the story. Then it was probably too late, huh?


Lauren

Legal Pub said...
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Anonymous said...

I doubt the appeal will be successful.


Jill

Guy said...

Unlikely, Plaintiff's will over turn the jury decision. If the attorneys had more evidence, then they should have presented it at the first trial.

Anonymous said...

There will be a new trial. THis time, there will apparently be more evidence allowed by the trial court.

Anonymous said...

The defense is apparently appealing the trial court's decision to grant a new trial...

Anonymous said...

I do not think the doctor will fair very well in the new trial. A guilty verdict would cost far more than paying your way out of something. He is going up against 2 of the best attorneys in the state, who undoubtably have proof and feel they can win or they would not waste their time again. Sorry Doc!
SRS

Legal Pub said...

Update 6-28-08: The Appellate Court has apparently reversed Judge Eldred's order for a new trial. The Defendant's verdict apparently will be reinstated.

Anonymous said...

The case has been closed in favour of Dr. Singh; This has not been updated. The case is over.

Anonymous said...

Case Closed. Winner - Doc.

Anonymous said...

I would request that this blog be removed or content of the title changed, as when I search the doctors name, this is one of the first results for google.com; the case was won in the doctors favor. It is unfair to see his name next to a partial title with the word "Fondling".

sadworld said...

To anonymous: you don't know anything about what happened to us! Unless your Mr singh or one of his Dr. Friends who tried to make me write to the courts stating that Mr singh didn't do anything to me! If that's what makes him not quilty then God help us all, And just because someone has anxiety in which we are all born with! Dosent mean that we are mental patients!! I would like to know what sick fuck you are??

sadworld said...
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sadworld said...
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sadworld said...
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sadworld said...

He's living a nightmare! Lol... He has scared me for life!! And when he so called won He got a Big Promotion at Regional Hospital. Right Mr Singh?? Yes

sadworld said...
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sadworld said...

WE ALL ARE IN HELL SINCE WE SEEN THIS SO CALLED WELL STOOD MAN! AKA DR FROM HELL SURJIT SINGH!! I NEVER WANTED A DIME FROM THAT LAWSUIT! I DIDN'T WANT ANYONE ELSE TO HAVE TO GO THROUGH WHAT I DID IN HIS CARE! I HOPE ALL U PEOPLE ON HERE OR ONE OF YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS! NEVER HAVE TO HAVE HIS SICK CARE!!