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June 6, 1925


JAMA. 1925;84(23):1758-1760. doi:10.1001/jama.1925.02660490050020

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The Harnett Case Again  In a previous letter to The Journal (March 29, 1924, p. 1057) the case was reported of the unprecedented damages against two physicians of $125,000 for the wrongful detention of a lunatic. In The Journal subsequently (Aug. 9, 1924, p. 466) the reversal in the court of appeal of this judgment was described. The court held that the damages were assessed on a wrong basis, being "too remote" in the case of one of the defendants, Dr. Bond, a commissioner in lunacy, who had no legal right to detain the plaintiff for the short period he did while he telephoned to the other defendant, Dr. Adam, who was in charge of the licensed house from which the plaintiff had escaped. The latter was held to have done nothing wrong in receiving back the plaintiff and was therefore dismissed from the case. The jury in the lower

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