Psychologist added to ‘witchcraft’ lawsuits

Former patients suing a Geneva hospital over a psychologist’s alleged use of witchcraft added the therapist herself to their lawsuits today.

During a hearing in Kane County court, the plaintiffs amended their malpractice suits against Delnor-Community Hospital to name as a co-defendant Letitia Libman, a clinical psychologist who was employed at the west suburban hospital from 1995 until January.

An attorney for three of the four plaintiffs, Richard Lee Stavins, said his clients previously had been too afraid of Libman to allow him to name her in the suits along with the hospital.

But the plaintiff’s outrage at Libman’s blanket denials to the claims have “over-ridden any fear of retribution,” Stavins said.

Four former patients of Libman’s sued the hospital in March and April. Three suits were filed in Kane County, and one was filed in U.S. District Court, Chicago. Each plaintiff in the county litigation seeks more than $50,000 in damages, while the federal suit seeks $1 million in damages.

The suits alleged Libman used tarot cards, pentagrams and love potions in therapy.

One suit alleges that the Libman asked a client to submit DNA samples of her husband she was divorcing so the therapist could cast a spell on him. Another suit accuses Libman of instructing a man to speak with dead people and that, instead of using prescribed medications, he should smoke Native American herbs.

The suits also accused Libman of telling one patient the two of them had been brought to earth in a spacecraft and that they were superior beings; offering to teach a patient how to make witches’ talisman with the client’s own blood, and advising two female patients they were the “chosen ones” of the witches.

The psychologist’s attorney, Ben Goodin, said the claims were untrue and have “absolutely ruined this woman.”

A Delnor-Community spokesman has said the hospital launched an internal investigation after receiving a patient complaint in January and that Libman no longer worked for the hospital. Libman has said she resigned after the hospital confronted her with the allegations.

The next court hearing in the case is scheduled for June 16.

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(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)
Chicago Tribune, USA
May 2, 2005
Rita Hoover, Special to the Tribune

Religion News Blog posted this on Tuesday May 3, 2005.
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