Chirillo v. GraniczAnnotate this Case
Robert Granicz, as personal representative of his wife's estate, filed a medical malpractice action asserting that her primary care physician, Dr. Joseph S. Chirillo, Jr., breached his duty of care in treating her, which resulted in her suicide. The decedent had a history of depression. The trial court granted petitioners' motion for summary judgment, finding that Dr. Chirillo did not have a legal duty to prevent the decedent's suicide. Relying on Florida case law and Fla. Stat. 766.102(1), the Second District reversed, agreeing with Granicz that the trial court improperly characterized the duty Dr. Chirillo owed to the decedent. The Second District found that Granicz had provided sufficient expert testimony regarding the standard of care to establish that Dr. Chirillo owed the decedent a general, legal duty - not a duty to prevent her suicide - thereby precluding summary judgment. The district court also found that based on the evidence, a jury question still remained as to proximate cause. The court approved the Second District’s decision, reversing and remanding the case to the trial court with instructions to proceed to trial. The court disapproved the decision of the First District in Lawlor v. Orlando as an improper determination of duty.