Doctor accused of planting false memories settles suit for $2.4 million
APPLETON, Wis. (AP) _ A woman who accused her psychiatrist of malpractice for diagnosing her with 120 separate personalities and putting her through an exorcism settled her lawsuit out-of-court Monday for $2.4 million.
The settlement between Nadean Cool, a former nurse’s aide, and Dr. Kenneth Olson came as the trial was entering its fifth week.
``We’re delighted,″ said William Smoler, speaking for Ms. Cool and her children. ``It’s a fair resolution to a long case, and my clients are real happy.″
Olson’s lawyer, David Patton, said the doctor correctly diagnosed multiple personality disorder, and that the settlement includes no admission of liability.
``Dr. Olson was looking forward to testifying at the trial,″ he said. He is now practicing psychiatry in Bozeman, Mont., and couldn’t be reached for comment.
Ms. Cool, 44, testified that her treatment from 1986 to 1992 left her suicidal and haunted by false memories.
She said Olson told her the multiple personalities _ one of which, he said, was Satan himself _ were the result of abuse she suffered as a youngster, brought out through hypnosis.
But Smoler said the therapy brought out memories of abuse that never actually occurred.
Ms. Cool said did not believe she was possessed by the devil but agreed to the exorcism because she relied on Olson’s advice.
She said she was strapped to a bed for the exorcism at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Appleton, where they both worked, and Olson prayed softly and recited the Catholic rite of exorcism.
When she became frightened and asked him to stop, she said he told her that was simply Satan inside of her telling him to stop.
``I remember saying, `Please, I’m done. I think Satan has left. Please let me up,‴ she testified. ``I remember lying there and looking up at the ceiling and feeling dead inside and thinking that part of me was gone.″
Olson hypnotized Ms. Cool numerous times and told her different personalities identify themselves during hypnotherapy, she testified.
``He would say, `Who are you? You deserve a name,′ and I would come up with a name″ she testified.
Ms. Cool testified that the therapy caused nightmares, flashbacks, daily thoughts of death, and, eventually, the need for hospitalization. He also prescribed drugs that caused her to hallucinate.
``I would see decapitated heads coming out of my oven. I would see blood splattered on walls. I would see blood coming out of the shower. I would stand there and cry every time I had to clean up,″ she said.