(a) There shall be no monetary liability on the part of, and no cause of action shall arise against, any person who is a psychotherapist as defined in Section 1010 of the Evidence Code in failing to protect from a patient’s threatened violent behavior or failing to predict and protect from a patient’s violent behavior except if the patient has communicated to the psychotherapist a serious threat of physical violence against a reasonably identifiable victim or victims.
(b) There shall be no monetary liability on the part of, and no cause of action shall arise against, a psychotherapist who, under the limited circumstances specified in subdivision (a), discharges his or her duty to protect by making reasonable efforts to communicate the threat to the victim or victims and to a law enforcement agency.
(c) It is the intent of the Legislature that the amendments made by the act adding this subdivision only change the name of the duty referenced in this section from a duty to warn and protect to a duty to protect. Nothing in this section shall be construed to be a substantive change, and any duty of a psychotherapist shall not be modified as a result of changing the wording in this section.
(d) It is the intent of the Legislature that a court interpret this section, as amended by the act adding this subdivision, in a manner consistent with the interpretation of this section as it read prior to January 1, 2013.
(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 149, Sec. 1. (SB 1134) Effective January 1, 2013.)
Last modified: October 25, 2018