Gross negligence cannot be overlooked. The warning signs were there well ahead of time, and Holmes' psychiatrist ignored all of them. It is a pathetic misuse and abuse of power, and it's sad to think that the tragedy could have been avoided if something had just been said to someone about Holmes.
We all expect a little help from our psychiatrist. When it turns out that they really aren't helping nor can they even see the true nature of our problems, then perhaps they should find a new career or go back to school for some more up-to-date training. This poor excuse for a shrink just blatantly ignored all the danger signs and that is negligent on his part.
I read that she has given an account that his communication with her centered on social anxiety kind of topics rather than "specifics" about killing someone. Well, that doesn't suprise me. Psychiatrists come from a crop of folks who are oriented toward trying to get their patients to get in touch with this sort of thing. He probably only communicated in accordance with her guided questioning. She's covering her backside. Coupled with a legal system in this country that wants to see dead people before a sick person can get the help they need, a perfect recipe for disaster. The old refrain goes "unless the person is a danger to themselves or others, there is nothing we can do". A recipe for disaster, refusing to treat the presence of psychosis a an imminent threat. So this will happen again and again and prosecutors and judges like Carlos will be hell-bent on trying to put desparately ill people to death.
If we start suing psychiatrists for the actions of their patients, then we set a very dangerous precedent for the future. The only reason to sue the man would be if he knowingly kept criminal intent from the police, which he did not. He is not a mind reader, nor should we force them to try. He did his best to treat and help a case, and should not be punished for not being able to tell the future. These protections are here for a reason...we need to keep them.
Psychiatrists are not supposed to disclose what transpires in a counseling session unless it involves child abuse. I imagine a lot of people in therapy could discuss a desire to kill someone else, but the psychiatrist cannot know if this is a sincere threat. I believe Holmes's psychiatrist was struggling with the worry that he might actually act out his violence and attempted to discuss it with the faculty or some colleagues. So, she was already going beyond legally what she should do out of her own concern.