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USA v. Peterson, et al.

Monday, November 9, 1998.
Chicago, Illinois.

Pretrial Hearing

On Monday November 9, 1998, Regulation Administrative Judge Phillip Howe presided over a pretrial hearing in the action by the state of Illinois against psychiatrists Dr. Bennett Braun and Dr. Elva Poznanski, both associated with Rush North Shore Medical Center. The judge said he will begin hearing evidence in the case of Dr. Braun on May 19, 1999. He said that date will allow lawyers to examine more than 150 boxes of medical records of Patricia Burgus who was treated by Braun for multiple personality disorder. A separate trial was ordered for Dr. Poznanski who treated Burgus's sons John and Mikey Burgus for multiple personality disorder. Last year Braun, Poznanski and Rush hospital settled a civil suit with Burgus for $10.6 million.

Harvey Harris, Braun's lawyer, has asked that Burgus, her husband Michael and their two sons all have independent psychiatric evaluations. Harris told the judge, "It may be an indicator that the treatment was correct."

Burgus told reporters outside the courtroom that she did not have a problem being evaluated. She said "I don't have anything to hide."

Harris has asked the judge to dismiss the case on several occasions because he thinks his client will not get a fair trial because of the extensive coverage of the Burgus case.

Judge Howe has said that he has not seen or read anything about Dr. Braun beyond what has been in court documents. It is Howe who will make the decision about whether Braun gets to keep his medical license.

This summary is based on an Associated Press report, November 9, 1998, "Braun's licensing hearing to begin next spring."