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Woods v. State ex rel. Montana State Hospital

Woods v. State ex rel. Montana State Hospital, 2015 MT 8 (Jan. 13, 2015) (McKinnon, J.) (5-0, aff’d)

Issue: Whether the Montana State Hospital had a duty to warn Catherine Woods of the risk of violent behavior by her former boyfriend after his release from involuntary commitment.

Short Answer: No.


Facts: Justin Schiller was involuntarily committed to the Montana State Hospital in Jun 2008. He was released 12 days later, and his relationship with Catherine Woods ended thereafter. In July 2008, Schiller bought a handgun. In November 2008, Schiller saw Woods at a bar with a male friend. Schiller had been drinking. When Woods and the friend left the bar, Schiller followed. He assaulted Wood’s friend and fired multiple shots at Woods as she tried to drive away.…