Attorneys want Shick deposition kept secret

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Attorneys for the mother of Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic gunman John Shick are trying to block her recent deposition testimony and related documents from public view in an ongoing lawsuit by one of her son's victims.

Susan Shick, who lives with her husband on a boat, is one of several defendants in a suit by Kathryn Leight, who was wounded last year while on duty as a receptionist at the UPMC psychiatric hospital in Oakland.

Mrs. Leight's attorney, Mark Homyak, has argued that Mrs. Shick knew her son was dangerous, did not take steps to involuntarily commit him, and did not provide full disclosure about his violent history to physicians who were treating him at UPMC.

Mrs. Shick's attorneys want to keep their client's emails with her son out of public view and have asked Allegheny County Common Pleas Senior Judge R. Stanton Wettick Jr. to sign a broad protective order blocking access.

They fear that Mr. Homyak will make the deposition and other information part of the public record as the court case progresses.

Disclosure, they argue, would cause "substantial hardship, annoyance, embarrassment [and] oppression" to Mrs. Shick.

The attorneys also said in their motion that no public purpose would be served by disclosing Mrs. Shick's deposition, emails, bank statements and other records.

Neither Mr. Homyak nor Stuart H. Sostmann, one of Mrs. Shick's attorneys, would comment.

The motion was filed Friday. It does not appear from the court docket that Judge Wettick has taken any action.

Shick, a 30-year-old schizophrenic with an extensive history of mental health problems, walked into Western Psych March 8, 2012 with two handguns, killed milieu therapist Michael Schaab and wounded five others before he was fatally shot by police.


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