Wednesday, September 21, 2022

"Psychological Autopsy" Report Related to Inmate Suicide Ruled Discoverable In Case Against Prison

In the case of Williams v. The GEO Group, Inc., No. 396 E.D.A. 2021 (Pa. Super. Aug. 24, 2022 Dubow, J., McLaughlin, J., and King, J.) (Op. by McLaughlin, J.), the court affirmed the trial court’s granting of a Plaintiff’s Motion to Compel discovery of a “psychological autopsy” report that the Defendant prepared after a prison inmate’s suicide.

This case arose out of the Plaintiff's decedent's suicide while an inmate in a private prison owned by the Defendant.    

In discovery, the Defendant had provided the Plaintiff with all requested documentation except a report called a "psychological autopsy."  The Defendant claimed that the document was protected as being privileged as a peer review document, as a work product document, and due to the attorney-client privilege.

The court found that this report was not privileged under the Peer Review Act.

The court additionally found that the report was not privileged under the scope of Pa. R.C.P. 4003.5 and was relevant under Pa. R.C.P. 4003.1.  As such, the appellate court affirmed the trial court's granting of a motion to compel the production of the report at issue.

Anyone wishing to review a copy of this decision may click this LINK.

Source: “Digest of Recent Opinions.” Pennsylvania Law Weekly (Sept. 15, 2022).

Source of image:  Photo by Rodnae Productions on

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