Borawick v. Shay

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

68 F.3d 597 (2d Cir. 1995)

The admissibility of hypnotically-based evidence in civil cases depends on an analysis of the totality of the circumstances.

Relevant Facts

Borawick (the plaintiff) underwent hypnosis to treat her panic attacks and illness. While under hypnosis, the plaintiff recollected having been sexually abused as a child by Christine and Morrie Shay (the defendants). The plaintiff sued the defendants for damages. At pre-trial, evidence was presented showing that: (1) the hypnotist had no formal training in psychiatry or psychology, (2) there was no permanent record of the procedures the hypnotist followed, (3) the hypnotist’s only recollection of the plaintiff’s treatment was based on her deposition and (4) the plaintiff made uncorroborated accusations of childhood sexual abuse against other individuals. The trial court granted the defendants’ motion in limine to exclude the plaintiff’s testimony. The plaintiff appealed.

Issue

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Holding & Reasoning

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Concurrence

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Dissent

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Last updated:

December 12, 2020

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Procedural History

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Citations

68 F.3d 597 (2d Cir. 1995)