Making Sense of Maas: Understanding the Expanded Duty to Warn in Pennsylvania 


Making Sense of Maas: Understanding the Expanded Duty to Warn in Pennsylvania 

Jack Rozel, MD, MSL Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Adjunct Professor of Law, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and and Director, resolve Crisis Services

Join us for our next Clinical Grand Rounds featuring Dr. Jack Rozel, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Adjunct Professor of Law, and Director of resolve Crisis Services. In July, 2020, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court handed down a ruling in the Maas v. UPMC case.  In this case, a patient murdered a woman who lived five doors down a hallway from him after making a series of vague threats – including, at one point, “a neighbor” – but never identifying a target in any way. The Supreme Court ruled that the entire floor, if not the entire apartment building, should have been warned and identified that, in certain circumstances, entire groups may need to be warned if specifically targeted individuals cannot be personally identified.  Maas has expanded mental health professionals’ duties to third parties with little guidance on how such duties (and liabilities) may be limited. Dr. Rozel will explore the newly enumerated duty in the context of Emerich, Tarasoff, and HIPAA.
Date & Time. October 30, 2020, 12:00pm to 1:30pm

Join Zoom Meeting: Click on this link to join the lecture; Meeting ID: 956 7778 2921; Passcode: 614098. If you experience any problems with the link, email  

Learning Objectives. At the end of this lecture participants will be able to:

  1. Contrast duties to protect and duties to warn

  2. Describe the essential criteria of duties to third parties in Pennsylvania as enumerated in under Emerich and Maas

  3. Distinguish liability related to disclosure of information and harm by a third party

  4. Identify three resources to help with clinical decision making when faced by cases with violence risk

The entirety of this program will be a lecture by the speaker(s). All individuals able to control the content of this educational activity are required to disclose all relevant financial relationships with any proprietary entity producing, marketing, re-selling, or distributing health care goods or services, used on, or consumed by, patients. Registration is not required for this event. This event is free and there will be no refunds. The University of Pittsburgh is an affirmative action, equal opportunity institution.

For More Information. Please contact Frances Patrick at (

Continuing Education Credit:  The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.  The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine designates this educational activity for a maximum of 1.5 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM.  Each physician should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.  Other health care professionals are awarded .15 continuing education units (CEUs), which are equal to 1.5 contact hours.  In accordance with Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education requirements on disclosure, information about relationships of presenters with commercial interests (if any) will be included in materials which will be distributed at the time of the conference. WPH is approved by the American Psychological Association to offer continuing education for psychologists. WPH maintains responsibility for this program and its contents. This program is being offered for 1.5 continuing education credits. The indicated number of clock hours of continuing education is provided through UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital’s Office of Educational Resources and Planning, a PA-approved provider of social work continuing education in accordance with all the applicable educational and professional standards of the Pennsylvania State Board of Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapist. These clock hours satisfy requirements for LSW/LCSW, LPC and LMFT renewal.  For more information, call (412) 204-9085.