Michael J. Sacopulos, Esq.
Jeremy Pompeneo, a recovering methamphetamine addict, sporadically went to the Verde Valley Guidance Clinic in 2005 and 2006 for counseling and prescriptions for psychiatric medication. Additionally, he went to another facility for inpatient psychiatric care because of “psychotic episodes induced by amphetamines,” that had been prescribed by the Clinic’s staff.
After seeing his therapist on October 17, 2006, Jeremy Pompeneo (“Pompeneo”) went home, stabbed his girlfriend to death and then attempted suicide by taking an overdose of medication.
Pompeneo was indicted for first-degree murder.
The victim’s parents sued the Clinic for their daughter’s wrongful death.
Pompeneo filed a medical malpractice action against the Clinic and alleged that the Clinic failed to: (1) prescribe appropriate medication; (2) obtain prior medical records; (3) admit him to the hospital for treatment; and (4) warn others about his mental state. Pompeneo sought damages for lost wages, loss of personal freedom, loss of civil rights, pain and suffering, severe emotional distress, and mental anguish.
Although the Clinic prescribed the medication to treat his mental illness, Pompeneo presented no evidence to show that he had taken the medication or was under its influence at the time he committed the murder. Moreover, there has been no showing of a compensable injury that would allow recovery for his pain and suffering that resulted from stabbing his girlfriend to death.
After considerable litigation, the court dismissed Pompeneo’s claim against the Clinic.