The Associated Press
February 22, 1984
Jury Awards $6.5 Million to Psychiatrist’s Ex-Wife
Dateline: Oklahoma City
Ann C. Sleeper’s malpractice suit against Dr. Harold Sleeper, medical director of Willow View Hospital, a local private mental facility, alleged he injected her while treating her for a variety of physical and mental problems.
Her attorneys also said Sleeper convinced his wife her severe depression, paranoia and physical problems were due to the foods she ate and synthetic materials such as her polyester ski jacket.
The jury awarded her $1,503,500 in compensation and $5 million in punitive damages.
Willow View Hospital officials referred questions about the future of his status there to Charles Linton, an administrator. Linton’s secretary said today that Linton was not available for comment.
Asked about her award, Mrs. Sleeper said, “I don’t think I can talk about that now. It’s no cause for celebration. I’m depleted.”
The verdict Tuesday night ended a six-day trial in Oklahoma County District Court.
Mrs. Sleeper’s attorney, Gary L. Brooks, said in his closing arguments that since Sleeper developed his theories in 1975, the doctor “was not then and has not since then been playing with a full deck.”
In urging the jurors to support his client’s claims, he said, “I want you to tell everybody (who) treats people what the price is for this kind of arrogant negligence.”
Sleeper sat in the front row of the courtroom with his current wife, Delores, when the verdict was read. He left the room without commenting.
Sleeper and Ann Sleeper divorced in March 1983. Mrs. Sleeper filed her suit three months later.