Vermont adopts Tarasoff: a real barn-burner

Am J Psychiatry. 1986 Mar;143(3):352-5. doi: 10.1176/ajp.143.3.352.


A recent Vermont Supreme Court decision adopts and extends the Tarasoff precedent. This paper emphasizes three aspects of the new precedent that are of possible consequence to providers of mental health care. First, the decision imposes the Tarasoff duty on all "mental health professionals". Second, it demonstrates a legal scenario that in effect permits a single standard of care to be applied to all mental health professionals. Third, it creates liability for property damage as well as for personal injury.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Dangerous Behavior
  • Firesetting Behavior
  • Forensic Psychiatry / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Humans
  • Judicial Role
  • Male
  • Malpractice / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Mental Health Services / standards
  • Mentally Ill Persons*
  • Probability
  • Psychotherapy / standards
  • Vermont