STATE OF WISCONSIN CIRCUIT COURT DANE COUNTY Case No. 18CV3122
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JAMES FETZER, MIKE PALECEK, 7Defendants.
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DEPOSITION OF DR. ROY LUBIT
VOLUME I, PAGES 1-114
OCTOBER 5, 2019
(The following is the deposition of DR. ROY LUBIT, taken pursuant to Notice of Taking Deposition, at 165 West End Avenue, 3L, in the City of New York, State of New York, commencing at approximately 12:19 o’clock p.m., October 5, 2019.)
On Behalf of the Plaintiff:
Emily L. Stedman
QUARLES & BRADY LLP
411 East Wisconsin Avenue
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202
On Behalf of Defendant James Fetzer:
Richard L. Bolton (via telephone)
Boardman & Clark, LLP
1 South Pinckney Street
PO Box 927
Ronald M. Huber, Videographer
WITNESS Dr. Lubit
PROCEEDINGS (Witness sworn.)
DR. ROY LUBIT, Called as a witness, being first duly sworn, was examined and testified as follows:
BY MS. STEDMAN:
Q. Good afternoon. Dr. Lubit. My name is Emily Stedman,
I’m an attorney at Quarles & Brady in Milwaukee, and
I represent Leonard Pozner in this case.
For the purpose of the record, if there is something that you do not understand,
please ask me and I will try to rephrase. If you do not tell me.
I’ll assume you understand. Is that okay?
Q. Please state your full name.
A. Roy Lubit.
Q. And Mr. Dr. Lubit, can you explain to the jury why you cannot appear in Madison for the trial in this case?
A. A combination of personal and work reasons. I am a single parent, it’s a three-day weekend, the trial starts during that weekend, and the following week I have to be away for two trials. I can neither do that much time away, and it’s not fair to my family and it would be exhausting, I wouldn’t be in good enough shape for the second trials.
Q. Please tell the jury about your education following high school.
A. I went to college at Cornell Medical School at New York University.
I then went to Yale to do psychiatry. There’s a year of internal medicine,
which I was at Greenwich Hospital, part of the Yale program,
and then three years of psychiatry in New Haven.
Then I spent two years in Boston at Boston Children’s, studying child psychiatry.
Then I had an Advanced Psychotherapy Fellowship.
I had been approached by the government about doing work on foreign leaders,
and I then, in prelude to that, started taking some courses at the at Harvard in international relations,
and then decided to stay around and wound up doing a Ph.D. program and
practicing psychiatry during those years part time.
Returned to New York in ’97, did some work in psychiatry.
And then in 2001 I went back to training and did a Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship at
St. Vincent’s is the closest major medical center to Ground Zero, and my boss, Spencer Eth, happened to be an international expert on PTSD. And so much of the time that year was spent dealing with emotional trauma and writing papers, giving lectures, going to symposium on emotional trauma.
Q. Did you specialize in anything while obtaining your MD at NYU?
A. There is no specialization during medical school.
Q. How long does medical school take?
A. Four years.
Q. And then you did a psychiatry residency. How long did that take?
A. It’s a year of either a rotating internship or a year of medicine, which is what I did, and then three years of psychiatry work.
Q. Did you work with adults during that time?
A. That first three years was entirely adults.
Q. How long did your child psychiatry residency take?
A. That’s two years.
Q. How long did your Advanced Psychotherapy Fellowship take?
A. That was — It was half-time for two years, and then the first year I was also spending half-time on a consultation-liaison service, and the Psychotherapy Fellowship was adult psychiatry.
Q. And what is a what is an Advanced Psychotherapy Fellowship?
A. I’m not sure how to describe it other than what the what the term is used. It’s getting extra training. So we saw a number of patients, we had lots of supervision, lots of seminars. During a psychiatry residency, you do many different things. You certainly do some psychotherapy, but a great deal of time is spent admitting people to in-patient units, working on in-patient units, diagnosis, prescribing medications. Part of my time was working on medical wards, seeing people who were having psychiatric problems. And the Advanced Psychotherapy Fellowship I had more experience treating patient — outpatients one-on-one than I did during my residency.
Q. And did you treat adults during your Advanced Psychotherapy Fellowship?
A. Yes. That — The two years of Advanced Psychotherapy Fellowship and three years of psychiatry at Yale were all adults.
Q. And you also mentioned a forensic psychiatry fellowship.
Q. What does that mean?
A. Forensic psychiatry is the part of psychiatry in which you do evaluations for legal purposes. So custody evaluations is in the rubric of forensic psychiatry, personal injury evaluations, and criminal issues, which can be things such as not guilty by reason of insanity, whether someone is ready to go on to trial, false confession issues. My area is more heavily personal injury issues, emotional trauma, some traumatic brain injury.
Q. And did you examine adults during your forensic psychiatry fellowship?
A. That was entirely — That was almost entirely adult work.
Q. Once you completed the education portion. did you obtain any certifications?
Q. Tell us about them.
A. Before I even began the child work, I took the boards in psychiatry. To become board certified you need to go through an accredited fellowship and then take exams. So at the time that I was doing it there was a written exam, and if you pass that, there is an oral exam. And I passed that in — a year or so n 12 : 25:40 after I finished my adult training, before I finished my child training. I was then board certified in adult psychiatry. Then at the time that I was doing 1 child psychiatry people weren’t bothering to get their Boards, and I didn’t afterwards. But after my fellowship I was asked to stay on at New York Medical College as an assistant professor, and then I was hired away by Mount Sinai to come and teach and do work on PTSD. And with those opportunities I then went and took my Boards in child psychiatry and passed them, and Boards in forensic psychiatry. n The first set of Boards — At that point in time they were for life, the general psychiatry. The child and forensic boards are for 10 years. And I took them, oh, a few years ago I recertified, and I’ll be having to do that again in about three years.
Q. And to the extent you haven’t already done so, can you describe for the jury your experience related to trauma in adults?
A. I reviewed it pretty much, but the I mean certainly there were traumatized individuals that I saw during my adult training, people who had been through various sorts of highly stressful events. With the work at St. Vincent’s it was very heavily focused because again we’re — saw large numbers of O people from the World Trade Center. And then in the years after, many of the people who have come to me have had traumatic events and the — probably more than half of my work in forensic psychiatry is — has been doing personal injury evaluations, and those are all people who — some had near-death experiences. some were sexually assaulted, various very stressful experiences that fit the diagnostic criteria for PTSD.
Q. Have you conducted research and publications on adult emotional trauma?
A. I’ve n Most of my publications are on child trauma. but child trauma is everything in adult trauma plus a little bit more because the diagnostic criteria for young children are different. But the criteria for adults are the same as for adolescents, but I also have I am one of two authors on an article on PTSD in adults.
Q. Can you describe for the jury what your article. Integrating Our Understanding of Classical and Betrayal Trauma, is about?
A. There The research in o Let me start again with this. It’s Most diagnoses in psychiatry are based upon a constellation of symptoms, so you — if someone comes to you and they have a low mood, can’t enjoy things, difficulty concentrating, sleep problems, appetite changes. energy — low energy, these individuals are going to be diagnosed as depressed. How much of that is due to biology, how much is due to recent stresses, how much of that is due to childhood traumatic experiences that are now affecting them is left out of the diagnostic picture. And then people look to see, all right, what can cause depression. PTSD can appear very differently, and PTSD has always been dependent upon having experienced a set stressor. The exact definition of that stressor has changed over time, but generally, it is being exposed to an incident which at least threatens — which threatens or causes severe injury. With DSM-5 it changed to being exposed to, so that work — people who work with victims, and people who have a close family member go through an event, they can also meet diagnostic criteria. Because we were seeing that the workers, particularly workers down at Ground Zero were coming down with the same symptoms as those who had — were in the building and almost died. So there’s been — So that’s the PTSD side of things. Then various people have noticed that there are experiences that do not fit those criteria but n which leads to similar symptoms. And some of that is betrayal in a relationship can lead to similar symptoms. A third piece to this puzzle is the work of a man named Symonds. He was a brilliant psychoanalyst. He was a policeman turned psychoanalysts, so he had — in various contexts he had seen many, many individuals who were traumatized. And he had a theory that some of the symptoms that we think are the result of the initial trauma are actually not, but that they’re due to the way people treat the individual afterward, and that we were conflating the two because it was so common that — that someone doesn’t get the support they need, or women who are raped are often treated very, very badly by the legal system and the healthcare system with people challenging them, invalidating them. And so a number of people started writing about this. And I tried to look at psychodynamically what was underlying — what was going on with the two. what was similar about them. And I felt that there were very similar psychological processes going on. and that within what we think of just as betrayal there are threats to the person’s self. Maybe not to their physical self, but the threat to who they are and what their life is about, and that that was causing some of the symptoms of betrayal, and that many of the people that we see who suffer physical threat, their symptoms are often due to the way they’re treated. Now it’s been known for quite a while, I remember it was back around the time — not long after 9/11 that I started seeing articles that the amount of stress one has after an event, and the amount of support that an individual gets after a traumatic event is as important as the nature of the event in whether someone’s going to have ongoing symptoms. So, people who get a lot of support, who — where stressors are kept down, they will do much, much better than someone who doesn’t get the support. What is different about Symonds’ work and what I tried to say based on his work is that it’s actually a second injury. That term again is Symonds. And that when people have been hurt, victimized, the expectation is that people will rally around them. They’re in a very weakened position, and the hope is that we live in a caring society and that people will be good to those who are hurting, and that when the Cs opposite happens, even when just — there’s a com a lack of support, it’s shocking to the person. I thought these people cared about me, I thought the police would be nice to me, I’ve just been raped. And the police then start invalidating the person, saying: Are you sure it happened? Did you want it to happen? You know, were you teasing the person? That’s That’s a — That’s not simply a lack of support, in my belief, Symonds’ belief, that’s a second injury.
Q. You mentioned something, I believe DSM-5.
Q. What is that?
A. DSM-5 is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, it’s produced by the American Psychiatric Association. DSM-5 came out in , I believe, and they’ve gone through, it’s the fifth generation, of course, and it gives the diagnostic criteria of all diagnosable disorders, and it also gives some information upon the course of the illness, differential diagnosis, what things could look like it.
Q– And you mentioned that something changed with DSM-5?
A. Yes. With DSM-5 they said that — they took away one of the criteria in that the causal criteria for DSM-4 you had to experience horror or great fear
Q. For PTSD?
A. Yes. at the time of the event. You had to have horror or great fear I think was the third one. And that was that was removed, but more substantially, they brought in — they used the word “exposure” as opposed to “experience.” So your child comes home and says, you know — You’re called up and told that your child was hit by a car and is injured. That parent can get PTSD. They’ve always been able to get the symptoms, now people will say we’re going to call that PTSD also.
Q. How does the article, Integrating Our Understanding of Classical and Betrayal Trauma relate to your work generally?
A. I In my work doing evaluations I probably spend more time than many of my colleagues looking at how people were treated by their institutions. So I’ve had many cases where women suffered sexual harassment and then their bosses didn’t believe them, or they were treated very, very roughly by CS investigators. I know this one case in which she was not allowed to take a friend along, she had to sit in a room with five men who started challenging her what happened without a friend or a lawyer there. This was a very harmful thing to do. And I had noticed also with children who had been abused that — and colleagues of mine have told me they have the same experience — that they often wind — the trauma is often more when the parent doesn’t support — when the other parent doesn’t support them afterwards, that — or society doesn’t support them. You know, children who were abused by a parent and the — the Court, the law guardian, their therapist doesn’t get behind them and say we’re going D to help protect you. They say, we don’t believe you and go back to this parent who you claim is abusing you. And those kids often suffer more long-term harm by that. You know, on first glance it doesn’t make sense. How could that be as serious. But I try in 1 the article to explain that it does actually make sense. We all know, from a relatively young age. that there are some bad people in the world that can hurt us and there are bad things that can happen. It becomes concretized when something terrible does happen. But we, at most times until something happens we expect that the world is going to support us. We expect that if something happens, our teachers, our par — both of our parents, the legal system, the medical system is going to respond, and the community that the person lives in is going to respond with support, belief and wanting to give help. And But that often — But when that doesn’t happen, and the person finds themself now in a situation where they’re not just faced with the concretization that there are some bad people and bad events that can happen, but the world is not what they thought it was. That they had thought that they were living in a world filled with lots of nice people who were going to be there and take care of them if they needed care, and all of a sudden they’re on their own, where they can’t rely on authority figures, the community in general, and the world is much more threatening. And some of this is captured within the PTSD criteria and a change in one’s view of one’s self and the world, and social withdrawal. And these are two of the most damaging symptoms of PTSD. There are many, many symptoms, some of them don’t necessarily interfere terribly with life. Someone who was in a car accident and they avoid the exit that they were o on. The person can live with avoiding that exit — ex Sorry. The person can get along fine in life avoiding that exit. It’s not that It’s an inconvenience, but it doesn’t really get in the way of their life. But individuals who feel that they can no 4 longer trust other people and they’re not safe in general, and so they withdraw, their lives are drastically different, and that’s much more harmful 7 than, you know, a narrow avoidance of something that reminds them of the original trauma.
Q. In addition to your articles, have you written any books?
A. Published one book.
Q. And I believe the book is Coping With Toxic 13 Managers and Subordinates?
Q. What is that book about?
A. Along the way, because of the work that I had done in graduate — in my graduate training which is sort of on the borderline of political science and psychology, not psychiatry, more organizational dynamics, social psychology, I was asked to work for PricewaterhouseCoopers, and I worked for them for two years in a group that was entirely psychologists, except for me. And then through that experience and talking to some professors I was asked to write about narcissistic managers and how they can affect organizations, and then from that, I was approached by a publishing company who saw the article and said, how about writing a book about this.
Q. How does that topic relate to adult trauma?
A. It’s about high stress. It’s about what it’s like to deal with a high-stress situation and how it can affect you. It doesn’t talk about, you know. an incident that could be diagnosed as PTSD, but it’s still what does high stress — what’s it like to feel threatened and bossed around all the time. So the concepts are certainly related to what we’re talking about today. f*S
Q. And sometimes do news outlets ask you for your opinions about things?
A. Yes. Q- Can you describe for the jury some of your interviews or publications about the R. Kelly situation?
A. With R. Kelly I was — and it was NBC had me come out to the studio, along with many, many other people and asked a bunch of questions about it. I’ve been on TV or radio a number of times talking about it. most commonly about traumatic emotional trauma issues.
Q. Including the recent occurrence regarding the United States gymnasts?
A. I was asked about that, yes.
Q. And you’ve touched on it a little bit, but can you describe a little more your work with and around 9/11?
A. We There were phases of it. The first was there was seeing the people immediately after the; the day after, two days after, three days after. People came to large centers and we spoke to people and tried to give support and help them. Then there was a massive amount of training. The New York Times gave several million dollars for training, and like 30 full o days of training from basically the biggest names around the world in emotional trauma. And then, you know, we saw people and I also supervised people. We put in a grant through SAMHSA, I don’t think I can remember the — a government entity that deals with mental health issues. Substance Abuse and Mental Health, something like that, and got the grant. And that paid for my next year at St. Vincent’s, and then I went on to Mt. Sinai.
Q. You also mentioned a little bit about a Ph.D. Can you describe your Ph.D. for the jury?
A. The Ph.D. was in political science, and the dissertation was around studying how — change of opinions. In what situations do people change their perspectives. And that was certainly not mainline psychiatry by any means, but the skills that I learned there I felt were really very important. In psychiatry and psychology, including forensic work. people often don’t rigorously study situations. We’re supposed to have competing hypotheses, we’re supposed to explain why this hypotheses is stronger thananother, and that usually doesn’t happen. I’ve got an article that I just finished about bias in custody evaluations, but it applies to all forensic evaluations. And I think that at whatever level I function in psychiatry that the political science 14 training is — is integral to whatever level analytic 15 ability I have reached, because there we were required to talk about different hypotheses, to argue, make-believe that we’re on each side, argue back and forth. use texts, find data to support it, and do the type of work that now I’m doing in forensic psychiatry but in a really rigorous, analytic way.
Q. What do you do today for — for your living. in terms of evaluating patients? Can you describe for the jury a normal workday or workweek?
A. There is no normal week. A certain amount of time is — I have some private patients that I see in therapy, all adults at this time. A fair of my time is being spent writing. I’m on a second book and finishing up some articles, like on – on bias, and another article on emotional trauma. I do 1 evaluation, much — evaluations are normally — far more time is spent reading documents than doing the interview. So a certain amount of interviewing, a lot of reviewing documents, pulling it together. testifying.
Q. What percentage of your work is connected to the legal system?
A. So a majority, and in terms of income. overwhelming.
Q. Do you work for both plaintiffs and defendants?
A. Yes . Well, I I work for the truth. I have been retained by both plaintiff’s side and defense side. but I see my — my job as working for the trier of fact.
Q. Do you always render a favorable decision to the side that retains you?
A. No. And I also turn down many cases. If I n — If a side calls me and I think that my opinion — there’s a good chance it could go against them, or I think they have a weak case I’ll tell them that I’m o 2 not the person they want. 3
Q. Now I’d like you to talk to the jury about this case. 5 Can you explain how you got involved in this case?
A. I believe Mr. Zimmerman first gave me a call. I don’t know how he got my name. And he told me about the case, and I — it seemed important to me. and I agreed to do it. And I know the — My understanding is the firm is doing it pro bono, and I then said that I would do it pro bono.
Q. What did we ask you to do in this case?
A. To do an evaluation of how Mr. Pozner was affected by — by the — by events that occurred afterwards; people claiming that Sandy Hook never occurred, that he had didn’t have a son, that he faked his son’s death certificate, that this was all a fraud.
Q. And you may have mentioned this before, but are we paying you for your services?
A. No. As I agreed on the first phone call with Mr. A Zimmerman, when I heard that — you know, what was going on in the case, and — that I would do it pro bono. My general — And it’s not the first pro bono case I’ve done, the first pro bono work I’ve done. If you have a case that’s important, and I feel it’s really an important cause and the person doesn’t have money, I’m I will do it without — without being paid.
Q. How much time would you estimate you’ve spent on this case?
A. I’ve probably spent four or so hours talking to Mr. Pozner, I have reviewed various some documents. I had some time I know I talked to Mr. 1Zimmerman. Probably less than ten hours. f*)
Q. Does it matter to you what an attorney like me, or Attorney Zimmerman want you to say?
A. No. Again my loyalty is to the truth. It’s It — It would be a terrible thing for me to abuse my credentials in psychiatry and say something that was contrary to what I believed was the case to please someones or to make money. It’s hurting — It hurts people. Exactly who may get hurt by that I’m not sure. but it’s really damaging to society and that’s completely opposite to my oath as a doctor. 1
Q. You mentioned that you spoke to Mr. Pozner. o Can you describe those interactions for the jury?
A. They were by phone. I actually don’t know where he lives. Because of what happened I told him I did not want to know where he lives, so that no if anyone asked me, I could say, “I don’t know.” We spoke extensively about what — you know, what was the flow of things from the tragedy until recently, and also in detail about what symptoms he — he has been having and how he’s changed.
Q. Are you Mr. Pozner’s treating physician?
A. No. No. It’s — It’s inappropriate to be both a treating physician and a forensic evaluator. Now a treating physician can — can be asked to testify about his work, but I was called in as a 12:52:05 13 forensic evaluator only, and so I can’t treat.
Q. Does that prevent you from giving an opinion in this case?
A. No, not at all.
Q. And you’ve spoken to and assessed patients 18 before?
A. Thousands of times.
Q. Can you describe your normal process for doing that?
A. It I mean, it varies to some extent depending upon, kids are very different from adults, and what that person has been through things also, but the basic — when doing a personal injury evaluation there are certain types of knowledge one wants to have. One is to have some idea of what happened. Now I tend to try to — in this case, I would say that it was the original tragedy. I often tend to not ask a lot about that. I can find out about that from other sources and I may, you know, just check quickly that this is what happened, but it’s generally going to be very stressful for the individual to go into that. And since I’m not their therapist I don’t want to open up — open them to painful feelings and memories that I’m not going to be there to help them deal with afterward. so I don’t go into any more detail on that than I need to. But then a lot of talk about, you know, let’s talk about what was their life like before, what were they doing, how were they feeling. what emotions did they have, what — did they have any 18 psychiatric problems before, did they have other stresses before that could be causing the symptoms now. Are there What stresses are there in their life that could be causing symptoms. Because you just can’t assume that symptoms that someone has after a particular event are caused by that event. I remember seeing someone many years ago who I was asked to see because of a car accident and she was depressed, but on speaking — she was completely honest and she wound up telling about how her child had been sexually abused — or sorry her granddaughter had been sexually abused and she found out after the car accident and that’s when she got depressed. So it’s critical to ask about what other stresses there are that are going on in the person’s life, and we certainly talked about those. And we talked about how — about his emotions and what ways 12 : 54:39 11 he’s changed, what symptoms he’s having. So
Q. did you — To the extent there is a normal process, did you apply that in this case?
A. Yes . With the exception that I didn’t — he wasn’t sitting in front of me. I didn’t see him. But I don’t think that that in any way has changed or hindered the process. Because of the nature of the symptoms, I would not necessarily have seen anything unusual in his presentation. You know, if a major issue was depre — saying that he’s terribly depressed, it would be nice to see that in fact he — there are signs in his n 12:55:21 24 presentation. But he doesn’t claim depression, and we 12:55:25 25 didn’t talk much about depression symptoms. Q. So talking to a patient on the phone doesn’t 12:55:32 2 hinder your ability to render an opinion in this case.
A. No. I mean, I’ve done it before. It’s not. 12:55:39 4 you know, the optimal best way, but I’ve certainly 12:55:42 5 done it before, and it’s reasonable.
Q. How do you know anything about an adult like 12:55:52 7 Mr. Pozner who suffers following the loss of a child? 12:55:57 8
A. I’m afraid I don’t understand the question. 12:55:59 9
Q. What 12:56:03 10 Given your — the background that you’ve 12:56:05 11 explained to the jury, and your experience, are you 12:56:12 12 able to speak about an adult like Mr. Pozner who o 12:56:15 13 suffers following the loss of a child? 12:56:18 14
A. Yes, I can speak about him. 12:56:20 15
Q. And given your experience and your education 12:56:24 16 and your certifications, are you able to speak about 12:56:27 17 an adult like Mr. Pozner who suffers after being 12:56:32 18 accused of lying about losing a child? 12:56:35 19
A. Yes. 12:56:44 20
Q. And so you’ve talked a lot about your background and education and your work generally. To the extent not already covered, can you tell the jury specifically about your work with respect to PTSD? n
A. I’m not sure there’s much to say other than what we’ve covered before.
Q. And you mentioned earlier that there are a rs variety of symptoms that someone suffering from PTSD might display. Can you describe some of those 4 symptoms to the jury?
A. Yes . The symptoms of PTSD come into categories, and in each category you need to have one or two symptoms, you don’t have to meet every possible symptom in each category, you just have to have a certain number within each category. So And the first criteria is the causal criteria, which is and the death of his child in a mass shooting certainly meets his being exposed to an incident that caused death in someone close. The B criteria is intrusive recollections. So the person has unwanted memories and thoughts about the event, and there are — you need one of these, and there are a whole bunch that are possibilities. One is nightmares about the event. He doesn’t remember his dreams. And that was significant to me because if someone’s going to fake their symptoms, the first thing they’re going to say is they have — they have nightmares about it, because that’s something that we can easily — well understood. And if someone says n they don’t have nightmares, that person is proba — it’s much more likely that they’re credible, they’re not making anything up. Having thoughts about it throughout the day come into their mind and disrupting what they’re doing, having very distressing feelings if exposed to reminders. These are the most common. And the loss is on his mind multiple times a day, and also he needed to go — he needs to go back to his hometown, to the town of the tragedy because that’s where his son is buried, and he says it’s very difficult. He really — They left the area after a year or so, they didn’t want to be there, they needed to get away and not be there. That’s a pretty powerful indication of painful feelings when exposed to reminders. The C criteria is avoidance, and there are two possible ways you can meet that criteria. One is avoiding places that are reminders, so he meets that criteria. The other is trying to a — actively trying to avoid thinking about it. The next criteria — now we’re getting into the things that are, you know, more disruptive to life 13:00:00 21 than — than thinking about it, or even avoiding, you 13:00:07 22 know, his hometown. Negative alterations in mood and 13:00:17 23 cognition. One of the You need two out of the six 13:00:22 24 or seven criteria. One is, you know, not being able 13:00:28 25 to remember parts of what happened that one would normally expect to remember. 13:00:34 2 Negative alterations in your view of the 13:00:36 3 world or yourself, and his view of the world has gone 13:00:42 4 more negative. Difficulty enjoying things. It’s much 13:00:47 5 harder for him to enjoy things. Feeling detached from 13:00:52 6 people, cut off. He socially isolates himself for a 13:00:57 7 couple of reasons, which we can get into. 13:01 :02 8 Inappropriate guilt about what happened. 13:01:08 9 Guilt-related painful feelings, so a lot of depression 13:01:11 10 or anxiety. He doesn’t report depression, but he’s 13:01:15 11 certainly anxious about being outside. And the 13:01:21 12 clearest criteria and the most disruptive to him is 13:01:25 13 being detached from people and difficult — you know. 13:01:30 14 loss of enjoyment and negative feelings about the 13:01:33 15 world. 13:01:34 16 The last criteria is trauma-related changes 13:01:40 17 in reactivity and arousal. So what happens here is 13:01:48 18 that, you know, people familiar with the fight/flight 13:01:51 19 reaction after — in response to a danger situation. 13:01:56 20 it’s actually fight, flight or freeze, and the work of 13:02:04 21 Chemtob talks about the fight/flight reaction gets 13:02:07 22 turned on and it doesn’t turn off, that the experience 13:02:11 23 is so overwhelming that it sort of gets stuck for n 13:02:15 24 various reasons, and I go into some of those reasons 13:02:18 25 in my writing. And STIREWALT & ASSOCIATES 1-800-553-1953 infoSstirewalt.com Case 2018CV003122 Document 305 Scanned 10-15-2019 Page 31 of 114 31 13:02:23 1 So examples of that are difficulty sleeping. 13:02:25 2 difficulty concentrating, irritability, angry 13:02:30 3 outbursts, increased startle reaction, and being on 13:02:40 4 edge. And again, it’s common to see increased 13:02:45 5 startle, most people say it. He says he doesn’t have 13:02:48 6 it. And again it’s sort of like if someone — I asked 13:02:51 7 him more than once, because I was surprised. When 13:02:53 8 someone starts denying symptoms, especially when 13:02:56 9 they’re suggested to them, that increases their 13:02:59 10 credibility. If he was faking this, the second time I 13:03:02 11 asked: Are you sure you don’t have increased startle. 13:03:05 12 he would have said, you know, I probably do. But he n 13:03:08 13 said he didn’t. But he does have — he gets very 13:03:12 14 annoyed by sounds, repetitive sounds, but he doesn’t 13:03:17 15 3 ump. 13:03:17 16 He does 13:03:21 17
Q. And when you say “he,” you mean Mr. Pozner. 13:03:23 18
A. Yes. Yes. Sorry. 13:03:25 19 So concentration is significantly adversely 13:03:30 20 affected, irritability is a very big problem for him. 13:03:36 21 he said. He said sleep is not particularly affected. 13:03:42 22 And he is — he is on edge when he’s out. 13:03:45 23 Now a lot of being on edge has to do very — n 13:03:52 24 you know, it’s certainly greatly magnified by what 13:03:54 25 he’s been through. He is very uncomfortable going out because he has been threatened. There was a woman who 13:04:07 2 threatened his life. He is very concerned about 13:04:11 3 people recognizing him. He’s had his — his photo 13:04:14 4 posted when he’s trying to be anonymous because people 13:04:19 5 come up and approach him and say things, and argue 13:04:23 6 with him, and tell him he’s a terrible person, that he 13:04:25 7 is part of this hoax. That there was no shooting 13:04:30 8 there, that, you know, he’s part of this conspiracy to 13:04:36 9 take away their guns, and he made this up. 13:04:40 10 So he’s — he’s withdrawn from people, he 13:04:45 11 tries not to go out much more than he needs to, and 13:04:48 12 that’s quite a huge change in one’s life. He’ s The O 13:04:55 13 withdrawal, he’s, you know, pulled away from most 13:04:59 14 friendships. 13:05:02 15 We talked about his work, and he 13:05:07 16 historically has worked with computers, and he said 13:05:08 17 that he could not do the work that he used to do, that 13:05:13 18 he used to be very patient, and now if he was trying 13:05:17 19 to talk to a client and they weren’t understanding he 13:05:20 20 said that he would just get so irritable he couldn’t 13:05:23 21 do it, he could not function on his job, wouldn’t be 13:05:26 22 possible. 13:05:27 23 We also talked about the — the way his 13:05:33 24 symptoms varied over time, and that’s something one 13:05:39 25 wants to ask also, because if — to assess credibility one of the things we look at is does it fit a pattern n 13:05:48 2 we expect. Now credibili truthfulness is decided 13:05:52 3 by the jury, but it is appropriate for a forensic 13:05:55 4 evaluator, and we should comment on signs we see that 13:06:00 5 indicate greater — greater credibility or lesser 13:06:05 6 credibility. 13:06:09 7 And he said that, you know, 14 months, very 13:06:13 8 roughly, 15 months after it happened he was doing 13:06:17 9 better, he was on the mend. I mean people never fully 13:06:21 10 get over these things. You know, he 13:06:23 11
Q. Can you tell the jury what you mean by “it 13:06:26 12 happened”? Are rs 13:06:28 13
A. The shooting, the massacre at his son’s 13:06:33 14 school. His son being killed. 13:06:36 15 And, you know, the mourning process usually 13:06:42 16 takes a couple of years. You’re never going to fully 13:06:47 17 get over if certainly if it’s a child as opposed to a. 13:06:51 18 you know, parent, which is the normal course of 13:06:53 19 things, we expect to lose our parents, not our 13:06:55 20 children. And 13:07:00 21 But then he started going downhill with — 13:07:06 22 when there were attacks on him, verbally, that he’s 13:07:10 23 making up a hoax, his son — he didn’t have a son, his o 13:07:14 24 son there never was a son. his son wasn’t killed. 13:07:18 25 et cetera, et cetera, and people started harassing him in various ways. You know, I would have expected. o 13:07:27 2 again, that if nothing had happened I would have 13:07:32 3 expected, you know, in two to three years that the 13:07:35 4 person would be, although forever sad around holidays 13:07:39 5 and reminders, but they’d be able to — to 13:07:43 6 concentrate, to work again, to have friends again, to 13:07:46 7 be back to life in most ways. And if someone said 13:07:54 8 that, no, they hadn’t and nothing else had intervened 13:07:57 9 I’d start wondering what’s going on, because it 13:08:00 10 doesn’t make sense. 13:08:01 11 You know. I’ve spoken to people at Parkland, 13:08:03 12 I’ve spoken to other people in Newtown, and it’s r> 13:08:07 13 around two to three years that people are, you know. 13:08:10 14 getting back to things pretty thoroughly. 13:08:13 15 So he was getting, you know — he was 13:08:15 16 pulling out of things, doing better, and then the 13:08:19 17 harassment and accusations occurred and he felt worse 13:08:25 18 and he continues to have symptoms. The symptoms I 13:08:28 19 described are the symptoms that we spoke about 13:08:31 20 yesterday, that he currently has. 13:08:34 21
Q. That you spoke about with Mr. Pozner? 13:08:36 22
A. Pozner. Yesterday, yes. 13:08:38 23 And he 24 I mentioned earlier that we had found out r> 13:08:46 13:08:51 25 for known for awhile that the secondary stresses and the amount of support someone gets after a tragic 13:08:59 2 event are as important as the nature of the trauma in 13:09:04 3 whether a person heals. And So to me it I think 13:09:10 4 it’s very understandable that these events, the 13:09:15 5 harassments in various forms, is the reason that he 13:09:20 6 went from healing to having more symptoms, and that 13:09:24 7 now, seven years later, he, you know, meets all 13:09:31 8 criteria for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and that 13:09:37 9 it’s really deeply affecting his life. I mean people 13:09:41 10 can have PTSD but sort of — it takes away from much 13:09:45 11 of their life but still they can go on. It’s really 13:09:50 12 – His socialization, his — his work are all very 13:09:56 13 deeply affected. 13:10:02 14
Q. Can you describe for the jury how the idea 13:10:06 15 of a second injury plays a role in this case? 13:10:11 16
A. The second injury concept comes from 13:10:15 17 Symonds, and what he spoke about was that when people 13:10:23 18 don’t give the support that people expect, they 13:10:26 19 experience that as a second injury. Since that time 13:10:31 20 there’s, you know, literature about invalidation and 13:10:35 21 how destructive that is to people. And this goes back 13:10:40 22 to the things I was saying about when a woman who’s 13:10:43 23 raped, when the police or the hospital personnel o 13:10:48 24 challenge them, you know — you know, challenge did it 13:10:52 25 really happen, did they — you know, did they — did they lead the person on, et cetera. 13:10:57 2 And in this case it goes beyond it. This is 13:11:05 3 — this is people out there threatening him. He 13:11:12 4 You know, trying to make him a pariah, where they’re 13:11:17 5 spreading false rumors about what — about him and 13:11:24 6 that he’s part of this hoax to take away their civ — 13:11:27 7 their basic rights, and people are threatening him. 13:11:30 8 And it’s pretty scary — I would assume it would be 13:11:35 9 pretty scary to have people calling up and — or going 13:11:39 10 to his home and — and threatening him. I know he 13:11:45 11 mentioned there was someone, I think in Florida, who 13:11:48 12 went to jail for threatening his life. n 13:11:53 13
Q. So after reviewing this case, and documents. 13:11:58 14 and speaking with Mr. Pozner, did you reach any opinions about Mr. Pozner? 16
A. Yes .
Q. Did you reach an opinion as to any psychological injury that Mr. Pozner suffers from because he was publicly accused of having falsely claimed he lost a child?
A. Yes. He He would not now If that had not happened, if there — if people just left him alone, he would not now be suffering from PTSD. So as a result of what they did. his trauma symptoms not only ceased to heal, but got worse. o 13 :12 : 45 2
Q. Can you talk to the jury a little bit about humiliation in this type of situation?
A. Humiliation doesn’t have a very solid definition within psychiatry and psychology, but basically the concept is that you know, the general community looks on the person in a very negative way that they have done something very bad, and so they’re the person is going to be — you expect the community to reject you, to think little of you. There — I believe that we’re hardwired by evolution to care deeply about what others think about us, that embarrassment can be quite painful and having people around rejecting you, thinking badly of you, is quite painful. And what he’s experiencing is certainly — there’s I can’t — I don’t quite know the right word for it, but it is certainly related to what happens in embarrassment and humiliation in that large numbers of people think very negatively of you, and we’re wired by evolution to — to find that very painful. That’s what kept people to — that pain, when people dislike us, drives us to behave in ways that are acceptable to the community, and therefore people behave in — per social ways and thus communities survive.
Q. What happens when a person suffers from that level of humiliation or becomes a pariah or outcast?
A. Well, it’s painful to look around and know there are lots of people out there who think very badly of you. And again, I don’t know if the word humiliation it’s not there’s no formal psychiatric definition of it, and what one is he’s suffering something that’s sort of related to that. I don’t know a good term — a good term for it. But the invalidation is certainly there.
Q. And can you give us a definition of invalidation?
A. It could be saying that the person — that 13:15:35 15 you don’t believe the person had this experience. or 13:15:40 16 that they’re really — that it actually bothers them. 13:15:49 17 Invalidation is generally very destructive after a 13:15:53 18 traumatic event, and it could be as little as sort of 13:15:57 19 questioning: Are you sure it’s that bad? Or: Oh, 13:16:03 20 you’ll get over it. It wasn’t that terrible. You’ll 13:16:06 21 be okay. You’ll get over it. It’s not that big a 13:16:09 22 deal. These things make the pain much worse. 13:16:17 23
Q. So you’ve provided your expert opinion in 13:16:22 24 this case about Mr. Pozner. How do you confirm or 13:16:25 25 test that opinion?
A. Well I’ve discussed some of the reasons why, rs 13:16:32 2 to a reasonable degree of medical certainty, I find 13:16:35 3 that he has Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and that 13:16:39 4 his continuing to have it is the result of the 13:16:43 5 harassment, invalidation, denials that this occurred. 13:16:49 6 And again the ultimate decision is that of 13:16:51 7 the jury. So I don’t confirm it, I point out to the 13:16:56 8 trier of fact things which increase the likelihood or 13:17:01 9 decrease the likelihood that the person is actually 13:17:07 10 having these symptoms. 13:17:09 11 There are a number of things we look at to 13:17:11 12 see if someone might be making something up. One is n 13:17:16 13 do they have psychopathic features. Another is do 13:17:19 14 they have a history of suing people for wronging them. 13:17:23 15 Another is, does the problem fit a pattern that we 13:17:33 16 expect. And so — And I mentioned that before that. 13:17:38 17 you know, if he wouldn’t have told me that during the 13:17:42 18 first 15 months it wasn’t getting at all better, it 13:17:46 19 was just as bad at 15 months as at the start, it would 13:17:49 20 be, that doesn’t quite make sense, that’s not what – 13:17:52 21 you expect there to be healing. If there was some 13:17:56 22 very minor events, you know, if one person, let’s say, 13:18:01 23 had gone to him and said, I don’t believe you, and he D 13:18:07 24 were to say that that alone is why he’s having 13:18:09 25 problems now, I wouldn’t I’d find that dubious. meet a known pattern? And yes, it meets PTSD. I also 13 :18:26 3 have to look at does the person, you know, deny 13:18:29 4 certain problems, do they — that they could easily 13:18:31 5 have claimed. Because people who are faking usually 13:18:35 6 talk about all sorts of things, they — they’ll say 13:18:38 7 yes to everything that one could. He says he’s not 13:18:41 8 depressed. That’s an unlikely thing to say. I mean. 13:18:47 9 not everyone who has PTSD is depressed, so it’s not 13:18:50 10 surprising to me that he’s not depressed, but a great 13:18:54 11 number of people with PTSD are depressed, and if he 13:18:57 12 was faking he’d probably say he was depressed, and he 13:19:00 13 would probably have said that he had nightmares, and 13:19:03 14 probably said that he had increased startle reaction 13:19:05 15 if he was faking it, but he didn’t. And so this all 13:19:09 16 adds credibility to — it increases the likelihood 13:19:14 17 that what he’s telling us about his symptoms are in 13:19:17 18 fact accurate. And also that that the stressor 13:19:19 19 that he’s faced, that it makes sense, from our 13:19:23 20 knowledge of psychiatry, that this could be doing 13:19:25 21 this. 13:19:28 22
Q. So is this the type of an opinion that the 13:19:31 23 medical and psychiatric communities would generally r> 13:19:35 24 accept? 13:19:37 25
A. I think so. I mean, I hold the opinion to a that — I think that other experts in, you know. 13:19:47 3 emotional trauma, if they heard my opinion, would say 13:19:50 4 it makes complete sense. 13:19:54 5
Q. In your work on this case and in evaluating 13:19:56 6 Mr. Pozner, have you found any other alternative 13:20:01 7 explanations or sources of the harm he suffers? 13:20:07 8
A. There have been some other stresses, but 13:20:10 9 his marriage broke up, but that was a number of years 13:20:19 10 ago. It was after the tragedy, but it was still — I 13:20:23 11 think it was around I think it was around 2014, and 13:20:26 12 there — they broke up, got together, broke up again. r>i 13:20:30 13 But he said that he’s — remains good friends with his 13:20:35 14 spouse, there’s no hassle about visitation with the 13:20:38 15 children. And in that situation I would not expect it 13:20:42 16 to be giving significant symptoms, or any symptoms. 13:20:48 17 When people have problems years later it’s because 13:20:51 18 they’re in a battle with their spouse, usually that 13:20:53 19 they’re — where maybe their spouse had cheated on 13:20:56 20 them, and I know nothing about that, or that they’re 13:20:59 21 having trouble having access to their kids, and 13:21:01 22 there’s none of that. So I think that was how much 13:21:08 23 it added to the stress at the time. I’m not sure, but 13:21:11 24 it probably did, but I do not think that it’s an issue 13:21:14 25 at this point. There was some frustration that his n 13:21:15 13:21:22 2 brother-in-law was — got very active and started 13:21:29 3 going on TV and talking about it, and it was 13:21:32 4 frustrating for awhile, but that ceased. And what 13:21:38 5 he’s told me and what how he’s described it makes 13:21:41 6 sense, that this is that’s trivial and a nonissue 13:21:44 7 at this time. 13:21:45 8 But his mentioning these things, I mean he 13:21:50 9 can have easily — again increases the credibility. 13:21:52 10 He could easily have not told me that he was very 13:21:55 11 frustrated that his brother-in-law was going on TV and 13:21:58 12 talking about it when he didn’t even really know his 13:22:03 13 child that much. And to mention those that stress. 13:22:07 14 he would have withheld that if in all likelihood he 13:22:11 15 would have withheld that information if he was making 13:22:15 16 things up. 13:22:19 17
Q. And this case is about a set of statements 13:22:21 18 or a statement made by Dr. Fetzer. Can you explain to 13:22:25 19 the jury how Dr. Fetzer’s statements impact Mr. 13:22:30 20 Pozner? 13:22:32 21
A. Are you going to mention specific ones, or 13:22:34 22 in general? 13:22:35 23
Q. Well this case is about the — the specific 13:22:40 24 defamatory statement is a statement by Dr. Fetzer that 13:22:46 25 Mr. Pozner created and distributed a fake death
A. That has caused him a great deal of distress 13:23:00 3 in various ways. I mean, it’s part of a campaign to 13:23:05 4 – to invalidate him, to — to say that he’s, you 13:23:09 5 know, an enemy of good people, that he is trying to 13:23:13 6 take away — that he’s — he’s trying to manipulate 13:23:17 7 people and to falsely allege things that have 13:23:22 8 happened. He’s trying to fool everyone, to take away 13:23:25 9 their gun rights. And — So it’s part of that, but 13:23:32 10 the this is also sort of like nulli it’ s 13:23:38 11 destroying his son’s memory. It’s, you never even had 13:23:42 12 a son, your son didn’t exist. That’s painful. n 13:23:48 13 I don’t know if I can quite explain why. I 13:23:51 14 can understand it on an emotional level myself that it 13:23:54 15 would be, it makes complete sense to me. But to 13:23:59 16 explain the mechanism by which it works, I might have 13:24:03 17 to think more about that. But I know that And he 13:24:06 18 also pointed that out, that and I’ve heard that 13:24:08 19 sort of thing in other places also. Denying that this 13:24:11 20 person existed, denying is taking away its — it’s 13:24:17 21 almost like taking away his son a second time. 13:24:21 22
Q. And what happens when a person like Mr. 13:24:31 23 Pozner continues to suffer from those types of 13:24:35 24 statements? Are there long-term effects? 13:24:40 25 A. When PTSD goes on for this long it’sgenerally going to be there indefinitely. I mean, so 13:24:48 2 if 13:24:50 3 Well I went online last night to learn — to 13:24:55 4 see a bit more about this, and there are things up now 13:24:59 5 by Mr. Fetzer, Dr. Fetzer, denying this, and – and 13:25:08 6 bringing up Mr. Pozner. So it hasn’t stopped. And 13:25:14 7 it’s — also it I think can create a terrible feeling 13:25:20 8 of powerlessness and — and a lack of support in 13:25:25 9 general from society that he can’t stop this, that he 13:25:29 10 can’t stop someone making, you know, terrible false 13:25:34 11 allegations about him. He can’t stop someone making 13:25:38 12 allegations that have been — lead people to threaten Cs 13:25:41 13 him. And this is an ongoing danger for him, in not 13:25:46 14 wanting to go out, not wanting people to know where he 13:25:49 15 is, his having to move. And his last move was largely 13:25:57 16 He said there were some other factors, but a large 13:26:00 17 part of it was — was because of — wanting to stay — 13:26:07 18 be anon — as anonymous as possible and not having 13:26:11 19 people harass him. 13:26:13 20
Q. In terms of the psychological harm, can you 13:26:19 21 describe what Mr. Pozner faces every day? 13:26:29 22
A. I don’t know if “harm” is the best word. I 13:26:35 23 mean, he — he faces stress and emotional suffering every day and a constriction of his life. I mean the cs 13:26:39 24 13:26:42 25 harm is what’s happened, and then there are the ongoing effects.
Q. And what’s the overall impact of those 13:26:51 3 effects and potential symptoms on Mr. Pozner? 13:26:56 4
A. Well it takes away from one’s ability to 13:26:59 5 have a reasonably happy life, it adds a great deal of 13:27:04 6 suffering to it. It I mean the stress of PTSD we 13:27:13 7 know is bad for the brain, it’s bad for health in 13:27:16 8 general. PTSD leads to, because of the cortisol that 13:27:22 9 tends to be released, there is damage to the 13:27:25 10 hippocampus, and the anterior cingulate and corpus 13:27:25 11 callosum. 13:27:36 12
Q. And just on a — on a basic level, how bad n 13:27:39 13 is this really for Mr. Pozner? 13:27:42 14 MR. BOLTON: Object to the form of the 13:27:43 15 question, calls for speculation. 13:27:50 16
Q. Based on your experience talking to Mr. 13:27:56 17 Pozner, on your experience evaluating Mr. Pozner, and 13:27:59 18 your knowledge of PTSD and the associated symptoms, 13:28:04 19 how bad is it really for someone like Mr. Pozner? 13:28:10 20
A. It’ s 13:28:10 21 MR. BOLTON: Objection. Same objection. 13:28:14 22
A. I don’t know how to answer “how bad.” It 13:28:20 23 You know, if we think about is it a minor impact on 13:28:22 24 his life or a moderate or big impact, it’s not so 13:28:29 25 overwhelming that he — I mean he’s not in bed all day unable to do anything, but it certainly takes away 13:28:40 2 greatly from his ability to enjoy life. He can’t do 13:28:44 3 the same work that he used to do because he’s too 13:28:49 4 irritable and the concentration is a problem, and 13:28:52 5 there’s a great deal of distress, emotional distress 13:28:55 6 where there would likely have been pleasurable times. 13:28:59 7 or at least peaceful times. 13:29:11 8
Q. Based on your experience and knowledge in 13:29:15 9 the medical and psychiatric fields, how difficult is 13:29:19 10 it to lose a child in the way Mr. Pozner did? 13:29:24 11 A. Well, and I think the death of a child is a 13:29:29 12 tremendous trauma that one never fully gets over, but 13:29:32 13 again, people generally get back to — you know, to 13:29:36 14 doing most aspects of life after, you know, a couple 13:29:41 15 of years, three years. In his case it’s he hasn’t 13:29:49 16 because of the added stress and danger from things 13:29:57 17 that Mr. Fetzer was part of. Dr. Fetzer was part of. 13:30:04 18
Q. And how difficult is it, based on your 13:30:07 19 experience in the field and from talking to Mr. 13:30:10 20 Pozner, when someone accuses you of making up that 13:30:13 21 loss? 13:30:15 22 A. I mean, I it’ s 13:30:16 23 MR. BOLTON: Objection; form of the O 13:30:18 24 question, calling for speculation. 13:30:23 25 A. I How STIREWALT & ASSOCIATES 1-800-553-1953 [email protected] Case 2018CV003122 Document 305 Scanned 10-15-2019 Page 47 of 114 47 13:30:25 1 The word “how difficult,” I don’t know how 13:30:28 2 to I don’t know how to answer. I don’t know how to 13:30:32 3 respond to that type of question, “how difficult.” 13:30:34 4 It’s — And I think people — I’m concerned 13:30:39 5 about it because I think people could interpret you — 13:30:42 6 it very, very differently. I mean, it’s I can talk 13:30:46 7 more about, you know, how likely someone would have 13:30:49 8 this reaction and what does it actually do, but 13:30:54 9 quantifying “how difficult” is — what some person may 13:31:02 10 think is very difficult, some other person would maybe 13:31:05 11 say, yeah, it’s difficult but it’s not that difficult. 13:31:08 12 So I’m concerned it will more confuse the issue than n 13:31:10 13 just saying, you know, how likely something is and 13:31:15 14 what does — what’s the impairment. 13:31:38 15
Q. In your opinion, does Mr. Pozner continue to 13:31:43 16 suffer harm? 13:31:48 17
A. I mean, he has — he has ongoing PTSD and 13:31:51 18 it’s chronic, and I would expect it to continue 13:31:54 19 indefinitely. And I think that the continuation of 13:31:59 20 having — of people being encouraged to believe, you 13:32:07 21 know, that he’s committed this hoax, that that’s an 13:32:12 22 ongoing thorn in his side, and ongoing — impairs his 13:32:18 23 ability to feel safe in the world. A 13:32:20 24
Q. Do you hold this opinion to a reasonable 13:32:22 25 degree of medical certainty?
A. Yes. 13:32:26 2
Q. Thank you. 13:32:30 3 MS. STEDMAN: I have no further questions. 13:32:34 4 MR. BOLTON: Attorney Stedman, would this 13:32:35 5 be a good time for just a brief break? 13:32:39 6 THE WITNESS: Yes. 13:32:42 7 THE REPORTER: Thank you. Off the record. 13:32:56 8 (Discussion off the record.) 13:32:56 9 (Recess taken from 1:32 to 1:51 p.m.) 13:32:56 10 MR. BOLTON: Okay. Thank you. 13:32:56 11 CROSS-EXAMINATION 13:32:56 12 BY MR. BOLTON: O 13:51:55 13
Q. Dr. Lubit, my name is Rich Bolton, and I’m 13:51:57 14 the lawyer representing Dr. Fetzer in this proceeding, 13:52:02 15 and I appreciate your accommodating us on a Saturday 13:52:06 16 afternoon for — to present your testimony, and I 13:52:11 17 appreciate as well your accommodation of me. I am 13:52:17 18 questioning you from Madison, Wisconsin, and I I 13:52:20 19 had some commitments this weekend that prohibited me 13:52:23 20 from traveling to — to see you in New York, so I 13:52:28 21 appreciate — I appreciate the accommodation. 13:52:28 22
A. And I appre — 13:52:32 23
Q. And hopefully you’ll be able to hear me 13:52:35 24 clearly, and we’ll — we’ll proceed with our 13:52:37 25 questioning then. SAre you ready, doctor? 13:52:40 2
A. And I appreciate your accommodation that I 13:52:42 3 could do it this way instead of what would have — you 13:52:45 4 know, the problems it would have caused for my family 13:52:47 5 and other work if I had to be in Wisconsin on what’s a 13:52:52 6 holiday here. 13:52:54 7
Q. Oh, we’re it is not a it is not a 13:52:58 8 problem from my perspective, so. 13:53:00 9 Doctor, let me — let me begin then just by 13:53:03 10 getting to my questions, and then hopefully we can get 13:53:06 11 folks on to their other commitments as well. 13:53:09 12 Doctor, as a as a forensic or your r> 13:53:14 13 work in the forensic area of psychiatry, are you 13:53:16 14 familiar with the concept of secondary gain? 13:53:20 15
A. Yes . 13:53:22 16 Q- Can you — 13:53:23 17 Can you explain for the jury what that — 13:53:26 18 what you understand that concept to mean in the area 13:53:29 19 of forensic psychiatry? 13:53:32 20
A. The concept, well throughout psychiatry, not 13:53:35 21 just forensic work, is that the person has some 13:53:39 22 benefit from having symptoms. So it could be someone 13:53:44 23 who’s depressed who doesn’t really want to work and r> 13:53:48 24 this gives them an excuse not to work. In forensic 13:53:52 25 psychiatry I don’t know if I’ve — you know, it would apply, I guess, to someone having symptoms may have a n 13:53:55 13:54:00 2 benefit by — if they have a suit, by getting more 13:54:03 3 money. 13:54:07 4
Q. And so, for instance, involvement in pending 13:54:12 5 litigation would be a — a situation in which you 13:54:18 6 would consider the concept of secondary gain. 13:54:21 7
A. Yes. That’s why I went through in some 13:54:24 8 detail before the things that I look like — I look at 13:54:29 9 so that I can, you know, tell the jury the things that 13:54:32 10 indicate that the person is being accurate or not 13:54:35 11 being accurate. 13:54:40 12
Q. And then related, and perhaps simply n 13:54:46 13 synonymous, but the concept of malingering PTSD, is 13:54:49 14 that a — is that a concept that you’re familiar with? 13:54:51 15
A. Yes, it is. People can malinger, you know. 13:54:57 16 almost any psychiatric disorder, but certainly PTSD 13:55:00 17 people can malinger. 13:55:03 18
Q. And then are you familiar with the concept 13:55:05 19 of confirmation bias? 13:55:08 20
A. I write on it. Yes. 13:55:11 21
Q. I’m sorry, doctor. I didn’t hear you. 13:55:12 22
A. I’m very familiar with it because I deal 13:55:15 23 with it in my recent articles. n 13:55:19 24
Q. Can you explain to the jury the concept of 13:55:22 25 confirmation bias? STIREWALT & ASSOCIATES 1-800-553-1953 [email protected] stirewait.com Case 2018CV003122 Document 305 Scanned 10-15-2019 Page 51 of 114 51 1
A. Confirmation bias occurs when an individual r> 13:55:24 13:55:29 2 spins and vets and remembers data which — in a way 13:55:36 3 that supports what they believe. So if you have a 13:55:42 4 situation where there was data for and against a 13:55:46 5 certain hypothesis, someone who is engaging in 13:55:50 6 confirmation bias would tend to think that the data 13:55:55 7 that contradicted their hypothesis was flawed. They 13:56:04 8 would forget it and not remember it by the time they 13:56:08 9 were drawing their conclusions, and they could also 13:56:10 10 spin it to mean things that are different from what 13:56:13 11 people — how people would normally interpret the 13:56:16 12 information. rs 13:56:21 13
Q. With regard to the — the present engagement 13:56:24 14 by yourself, the initial contact, as I understand it. 13:56:29 15 was made by Attorney Zimmerman; is that correct? 13:56:33 16
A. That’s my recollection. 13:56:35 17
Q. And then with regard to the — the 13:56:42 18 engagement that you were asked to — to do, what do 13:56:50 19 you recall specifically about the scope of the — of 13:56:54 20 your engagement? 13:56:58 21
A. I don’t recall the conversation, but I 13:57:02 22 basically do the same sort of thing in personal injury 13:57:06 23 cases, which I am told that there was an event that n 13:57:10 24 may have adversely affected the individual, and then I 13:57:15 25 look at — I gather information about their S functioning over time, stresses they faced over time, c\ 13:57:18 13:57:23 2 problems they’ve had, to try to assess whether the 13:57:27 3 event in question had a negative impact on them, how 13:57:33 4 much of a negative impact, and is it a continuing 13:57:36 5 negative impact. 13:57:40 6
Q. And with respect to the present engagement, 13:57:44 7 do you recall what — what event you were asked to 13:57:48 8 evaluate? 13:57:50 9
A. The impact of the actions of Dr. Fetzer and 13:58:00 10 the harassment that surrounded it, on Mr. Pozner. 13:58:08 11
Q. And when you say, the statements of Mr. 13:58:13 12 or of Dr. Fetzer, you’ve also, as I — if I heard your D 13:58:20 13 testimony correctly, talked generally about what I’ll 13:58:30 14 call the — the materials published by Sandy Hook 13:58:41 15 doubters or skeptics. 13:58:42 16 Are you familiar with that broader concept? 13:58:44 17
A. One more time, please? I couldn’t quite 13:58:47 18 hear it. 13:58:49 19
Q. I’m sorry. Let me — I’m looking to see. 13:58:55 20 With respect to your — your testimony, you 13:59:01 21 — as I understood your testimony, you spoke at one 13:59:06 22 point generally about the effect of dealing with 13:59:13 23 people who questioned whether the event, the Sandy 13:59:17 24 Hook event itself occurred. Is Was that Was 13:59:22 25 that part of the scope of the event that you
A. Yes. 13:59:31 3
Q. And with respect to specific statements by 13:59:37 4 Dr. Fetzer, do you — do you recall specifically 13:59:41 5 anything about Dr. Fetzer’s statements? 13:59:47 6
A. The denial 13:59:52 7 Mr. Pozner was particularly affected by sort 13:59:57 8 of the erasing — attempt to erase his son, saying 14:00:02 9 that his son never existed, and that was something 14:00:08 10 that stood out, but also just — 14:00:08 11
Q. Did the 14:00:14 12
A. — the general — the various ways of 14:00:16 13 harassment and the calls that he was perpetrating a 14:00:23 14 fraud on the American people. 14:00:27 15
Q. And with respect to harassment, I don’t 14:00:32 16 understand your testimony, though, to be that Dr. 14:00:36 17 Fetzer engaged in any direct harassment of Mr. Pozner; 14:00:39 18 is that correct? 14 : 00:40 19
A. I’ m 14:00:43 20 I do not have a detailed knowledge of what 14:00:47 21 each person did or how each person’s actions lead to 14:00:53 22 the actions of others. It’s my understanding that Dr. 14:00:57 23 Fetzer was a key person in launching accusations that that there was no massacre, and that that rs 14:01:08 24 the ma 14:01:20 25 the pictures were faked, that and that Mr. Pozner had the death certificate was faked. n 14:01:33 2 I read one of the chapters of — I don’t 14:01:36 3 know whether it’s the first or the second book in 14:01:39 4 which he attacks the information and attacks Mr. 14:01:44 5 Pozner. 14:01:47 6
Q. And was the book that you’re referring to 14:01:51 7 entitled no one died at Sandy Hook? 14:01:54 8
A. I’m not sure whether it was the first or the 14:01:56 9 second version. I know that the second one had a 14:01:59 10 slight different title, I believe. But it was one of 14:02:02 11 the 14:02:03 12
Q. Did you read any of the other chapters in o 14:02:04 13 the book? 14:02:05 14
A. No. 14:02:09 15 Q. And do you know whether — 14:02:11 16 Do you know whether the other chapters were 14:02:13 17 similar to the chapter that you — that you read in 14:02:16 18 terms of supporting the — the idea that Sandy Hook 14 : 02:26 19 did not occur, that it was a FEMA exercise? 14:02:30 20
A. I don’t know about the other chapters. I 14:02:32 21 read that one because it directly related to Mr. 14:02:36 22 Pozner, and I did not read the whole book. 14:02:41 23
Q. And in regard to the chapter that you read. r> 14:02:45 24 do you know how many references, if any, there were 14:02:47 25 specifically to Mr. Pozner? STIREWALT & ASSOCIATES 1-800-553-1953 infoSstirewalt.com Case 2018CV003122 Document 305 Scanned 10-15-2019 Page 55 of 114 55 1
A. The chapter had certainly a great deal about n 14 : 02:56 14:02:58 2 him because he was — they were saying that the birth 14:03:02 3 certificate was false, it was it seemed to be 14:03:12 4 Mr. Pozner seemed to be a significant focus of that 14:03:14 5 chapter. 14:03:17 6
Q. And in terms of in terms of the the 14:03:24 7 harassment that you — that you talked about, what 14:03:29 8 what type of harassment specifically are you referring 14:03:33 9 to? 14:03:36 10
A. Well there was a woman who threatened his 14:03:40 11 life and went to jail. He has gotten electronic 14:03:46 12 contacts. He feels that he has to I don’t recall 14:03:56 13 specifics about people approaching him, but he is — 14:04:00 14 but he has certainly been approached in various ways 14:04:03 15 with attacks on — on who he is and what he’s doing 14:04:07 16 and how he’s perpetrating this fraud. 14:04 :13 17
Q. When you — 14:04:13 18 The reference about threats on his life; do 14:04:20 19 you know whether — and I think you said that someone 14:04:23 20 may have gone to jail for those threats. Did I hear 14:04:25 21 you correctly? 14:04:26 22
A. Yes . 14:04:29 23 Q. Do you know whether that incident occurred 14:04:35 24 before or after any publication that’s at issue in 14:04:42 25 this case by Mr. Fetz — by Dr. Fetzer?
A. I don’t 14:04:47 2 I do not know the date of it. 14:04:56 3 But it’s also that 14:04:58 4
Q. Can you begin — 14:04:59 5
A. Mr. Fet Dr. Fetzer the his 14:05:01 6 statements about Mr. Pozner are not only contained in 14:05:05 7 the book. I went on the internet yesterday and I saw 14:05:10 8 a website by Mr. — by Dr. Fetzer continuing to say 14:05:17 9 negative things about Mr. Pozner. 14:05:22 10
Q. When did you — 14:05:23 11 When did you first read the chapter that 14:05:26 12 you’re referencing? 14:05:27 13
A. That was in the last few days. 14:05:31 14
Q. I’m sorry. Pardon me? 14:05:32 15
A. That was in the last few days. 14:05:44 16
Q. And do the statements in the — that you 14:05:46 17 read in — in the particular chapter, do they — are 14:05:53 18 they a basis for your opinions in today’s testimony? 14:06:01 19
A. Well they are to the extent that it’s 14:06:05 20 consistent with what Mr. Pozner had told me, that the 14:06:11 21 — that he had allegedly faked the death certificate, 14:06:17 22 and that Dr. Fetzer denied that this occurred, and Dr. 14:06:24 23 Fetzer was specifically speaking about him. o 14:06:33 24 Q- The opinions that you’re offering in today’s 14:06:36 25 testimony — Well, let me back up. My understanding from your earlier testimony r\ 14:06:42 2 is that when you — when you are engaged in a forensic 14:06:46 3 evaluation you do not always reach a conclusion that 14:06:53 4 is supportive of the individual that initially engaged 14:06:58 5 you. Is that correct? 14:06:59 6 A. Yes. There are times when early on I see 14:07:04 7 that my opinion is likely to go against the party that 14:07:07 8 approached me and I tell them and suggest they go 14:07:09 9 elsewhere. But I have, at times, been in a situation 14:07:14 10 where I could not leave, where I was sort of declare 14:07:17 11 — you know, announced as the psychiatrist for a side 14:07:21 12 and my opinion went against the people that retained n 14:07:25 13 me. 14:07:28 14
Q. And in the particu — in this particular 14:07:30 15 case, when did you advise Attorney Zimmerman that you 14:07:41 16 felt that you could, in good faith, testify as a 14:07:47 17 witness for Mr. Pozner? 14:07:53 18
A. I don’t I mean 14:07:56 19 What he told me in terms of what had been 14:07:59 20 done to Mr. Pozner made sense to me that this would 14:08:03 21 cause someone some degree of emotional distress, and 14:08:08 22 then I spoke with Mr. Pozner and he reported emotional 14:08:13 23 distress, and I obtained significantly more details o 14:08:19 24 about the specific symptoms in the last few days, but 14:08:22 25 I had an opinion before that he had been harmed. The STIREWALT & ASSOCIATES 1-800-553-1953 [email protected] stirewalt.com Case 2018CV003122 Document 305 Scanned 10-15-2019 Page 58 of 114 58 14:08:27 1 amount of harm was going to wait until the final 14:08:31 2 interview. 14 : 08:36 3
Q. Is it fair to say, then, that you had — had 14:08:40 4 reached at least tentative conclusions before you ever 14 : 08:43 5 read the chapter in the last couple of days that you 14:08:46 6 referenced? 14:08:48 7
A. I had a tentative conclusion that he had 14:08:50 8 been harmed by the events he described. If I had 14:08:56 9 found out that the events he described had not 14:08:58 10 occurred, I don’t think we would be speaking today, I 14:09:01 11 would have withdrawn. 14:09:08 12
Q. Do you have any opinion as to whether any of n 14:09:15 13 the chapters in the book that you referenced denying 14:09:19 14 Sandy Hook were — would also be harmful to Mr. 14:09:25 15 Pozner? 14:09:27 16
A. I didn’t read the rest of the book, so I 14:09:30 17 don’t know how the rest of it may have affected him. 14:09:36 18
Q. Do you know whether Mr. or Dr. Fetzer 14:09:38 19 ever had any — you know, whether he sought out or 14:09:43 20 initiated any contact with — with Mr. Pozner? 14:09:54 21
A. I spoke with… 14:09:59 22 I think they had had some contact, yes. 14:10:04 23
Q. And do you know who initiated the contact? n 14:10:11 24
A. My impression, from speaking with Mr. 14:10:13 25 Pozner, was that the calls were primarily from — that I don’t know who made the first call, but I think 14 :10:26 2 they both — each called — I’m guessing here. I 14:10:31 3 think 14:10:31 4 My assumption has been that they both — 14:10:33 5 each of them had to some extent initiated, and 14:10:36 6 certainly both were willing to talk to a certain 14:10:38 7 extent. I didn’t hear that either one forced the 14:10:43 8 other one to stay on the phone. 14:10:48 9
Q. Do you know whether Dr. Fetzer ever made any 14:10:51 10 physical threats against Mr. Pozner? 14:10:56 11
A. I am not aware of that, and it I have not 14:11:01 12 I — my opinion is in no way based on my believing 14:11:04 13 that he had. I had I have assumed that he hadn’t 14:11:06 14 because I was not told that he had. 14:11:13 15
Q. When did you — 14:11:17 16 Do you recall when your first — the first 14:11:20 17 contact from Mr. Zimmerman was in regard to this 14:11:22 18 potential — in regard to a potential engagement in 14:11:25 19 this matter? 14:11:28 20
A. I I don’t recall. It was a number of 14:11:31 21 months ago, and since I was doing it pro bono, I 14:11:35 22 haven’t kept time records of — of things. I don’t 14:11:42 23 know when the first call was made, and I’m not 14:11:45 24 don’t remember the date of the first interview. 14:11:50 25
Q. Okay. Do you know, to the best of your recollection, whether the initial contact would have 14:11:56 2 been made sometime in the year 2019? 14:12:04 3
A. I think it was before that, but I I 14:12:07 4 really — I really don’t remember. I I It’s 14:12:10 5 possible it could have been 2018. I really don’t 14:12:13 6 remember when I was first contacted. It could have 14:12:17 7 been 2018, 2019. 14:12:22 8
Q. Did you — Did you make notes of your 14:12:28 9 contacts either with — either/or with Mr. Zimmerman 14:12:34 10 and Mr. Pozner? 14:12:36 11
A. With Mr. Zimmerman, no, and I don’t recall 14:12:42 12 really the — much of the content of that. I have 14:12:46 13 I certainly do have notes of my interviews with Mr. 14 :12:48 14 Pozner. 14:12:50 15
Q. And did you review those notes prior to 14:12: 52 16 today’s testimony? 14:12:54 17
A. Yes, I did. 14:12:56 18
Q. And do you — do you recall when your first 14:13:02 19 telephone contact or interview with Mr. Pozner was? 14:13:09 20
A. I’m afraid I don’t. Unfortunately — I mean 14:13:11 21 I looked for that. Unfortunately, I didn’t write it 14:13:14 22 down. I usually do, but I, for some reason, neglected 14:13:19 23 to write it down on the sheet, on the notepad. r> 14:13:24 24
Q. Do you know how many telephone interviews 14:13:27 25 you had with Mr. Pozner? STIREWALT & ASSOCIATES 1-800-553-1953 [email protected] stirewait.com Case 2018CV003122 Document 305 Scanned 10-15-2019 Page 61 of 114 61 14:13:30 1
A. There was a — my recollection is that first 14:13:33 2 interview, extensive talked yesterday, and then a few 14:13:39 3 minutes this morning. 14:13:46 4
Q. And do you re — do you recall approximately 14:13:50 5 how long your initial interview with Mr. Pozner would 14:13:53 6 have been? 14:13:57 7
A. It was certainly more than an hour. My, 14:13:59 8 it’s just a guess, is about two hours. I have fairly 14:14:03 9 extensive notes. 14:14:07 10
Q. Do you recall about how long you talked with 14:14:09 11 Mr. Pozner the day before your testimony? 14:14:16 12
A. Roughly an hour, maybe — maybe more. o 14:14:16 13
Q. Okay. 14:14:25 14 A. Again, I — 14:14:26 15 It could have easily been an hour and a 14:14:28 16 half. I’m not sure. 14:14:32 17
Q. And then do you recall about how long you 14:14:33 18 spoke with him this morning? 14:14:37 19
A. Less than half an hour. 14:14:43 20
Q. And then have you ever had any face-to-face 14:14:47 21 contact with Mr. Pozner? 14:14:48 22
A. No. 14:14:57 23
Q. In addition to the — the telephonic 14:15:00 24 communications that you’ve had with Mr. Pozner, what 14:15:03 25 else did you rely upon in forming any — in performing
A. I looked at the Complaint, looked at the 14:15:21 3 chapter, I skimmed over parts of his deposition, and 14:15:24 4 then this morning I asked if — to double-check 14:15:30 5 because I wasn’t seeing anything about — that was 14:15:32 6 discussed about his emotional impact of what happened. 14:15:38 7 and he said he did not recall being asked about that 14:15:40 8 and so I then did not complete reading his deposition. 14:15:50 9
Q. My understanding is that your work in this 14:15:55 10 matter has been strictly forensic; is that correct? 14:15:57 11
A. Yes. What What else could it be? 14:16:03 12
Q. You are not 14:16:06 13 You are not treating Mr. Pozner in any 14:16:08 14 capacity; is that correct? 14:16:09 15
A. No. I couldn’t, for various reasons. It 14:16:14 16 would be inappropriate to both be the treating doctor 14:16:18 and the forensic, and I do not believe he lives in New17 14:16:25 18 York or California, and those are the two states in 14:16:28 19 which I have a license, and so I could and I can’t 14:16:31 20 treat someone unless I have a license in the state 14:16:35 21 that they are in. 14:16:40 22
Q. And Mr. Pozner, in any event, has never 14:16:43 23 asked you — asked to engage you in a — in a treating D 14:16:48 24 capacity; is that correct? 14:16:50 25
Q. Did you re — 14:16:56 4 Okay. Thank you. 14:16:57 5 Did you review any — any other — any 14:17:01 6 medical records or psychiatric records for Mr. Pozner? 14:17:07 7
A. I don’t recall seeing any of the psychiatric 14:17:08 8 records. 14:17:11 9
Q. And do you — were you told, one way or the 14:17 :14 10 other, whether any such records exist? 14:17:19 11
A. And I usually ask about it. I don’t have a 14:17:21 12 concrete It’s my — sort of my question standard P 14:17:25 13 question, but I don’t have a concrete recollection one 14:17:30 14 way or the other. 14:17:34 15
Q. In performing an evaluation for litigation, 14:17:39 16 would it be your practice to review any existing 14:17:43 17 medical or psychiatric records for an individual? 14:17:47 18
A. I will generally ask about them, and if 14:17 : 49 19 they’re obtainable, I would – I would see them, yes. 14:17:55 20
Q. And for what would would the review of 14:18:00 21 such records, if there were any, be something in which 14:18:03 22 you would potentially rely in forming your opinions? 14:18:10 23
A. In It would I would certainly factor the material in. p 14:18:13 24 14:18:17 25 Usually I wind up doing a more detailed evaluation than anyone has done, and – but I would use the 14:18:28 2 records to primar — primarily to see if the story 14:18:33 3 that he’s giving is consistent with what he has told 14:18:38 4 others. 14:18:42 5
Q. And in this case am I correct that there’s 14:18:46 6 — you do not have any records or other information 14:18:50 7 available to you confirming or — or verifying what 14:18:59 8 Mr. Pozner has told you, I think what was it – the 14:19:03 9 story that Mr. Pozner has told you? 14:19:06 10
A. I don’t recall seeing psychiatric records. 14:19:08 11 and — I mean I can go through my file and 14:19:11 12 double-check everything that I have. If If there o 14:19:15 13 are psychiatric records and I for some reason, I 14:19:18 14 missed them, that would certainly be an oversight. 14:19:21 15 But again, their — their use would be simply to see 14:19:28 16 if he was — gave the same report to somebody else as 14:19:31 17 he was giving — as given to me. Since he I doubt 14:19:37 18 that he’s spoken to a psychiatrist in-depth in the 14:19:43 19 last 24 hours, and so I — my data is the most up to 14:19:48 20 date that probably exists from a psychiatrist. 14:19:53 21
Q. So at least as far as you know, no one no 14:19:58 22 other medical professional, psychiatrist or otherwise. 14:20:03 23 has given any diagnosis for Mr. Pozner; is that n 14:20:09 24 correct? 14:20:10 25
A. I’m not aware of anyone else giving a di —
Q. And is it — is it correct also that you’re 14:20:20 3 not aware of any treatment that Mr. Pozner has has 14:20:27 4 received at any time? 14:20:29 5
A. I’m not aware of any treatment. 14:20:40 6
Q. Is it fair to say that in reaching your 14:20:46 7 conclusions, then, the information on which you rely 14:20:50 8 is — is based upon your assessment of the credibility 14:20:56 9 of Mr. Pozner? 14:21:01 10
A. My assessment is based on what he told me. 14:21:06 11 The In ter — of his symptoms. In terms of his 14:21:12 12 credibility, there are a number of aspects which I o 14:21:16 13 discussed on direct which strongly support 14:21:23 14 credibility, but the — the final assessment of 14:21:28 15 whether he’s telling the truth or not is the job of 14:21:32 16 the trier of fact. And in general forensic 14:21:37 17 psychiatrists and psychologists are forbidden from 14:21:41 18 making a clear statement about whether what someone is 14:21:49 19 saying is true or false, that’s the right and the 14:21:51 20 burden of the jury, not of the forensic psychiatrist. 14:21:58 21
Q. With respect to — Let me — Before I change 14:22:04 22 topics a little bit, but. 14:22:06 23 Did you rely upon any information provided n 14:22:09 24 by Mr. Zimmerman in reaching the opinions that you’ve 14:22:13 25 given today? STIREWALT & ASSOCIATES 1-800-553-1953 [email protected] stirewalt.com Case 2018CV003122 Document 305 Scanned 10-15-2019 Page 66 of 114 66 14:22:18 1
A. I’m trying to remember if — what I was told 14:22:22 2 except by Mr. Pozner. I’m not — I mean I normally do 14:22:32 3 not rely on anything the lawyers tell me, and there is 14:22:38 4 really no information that came from him other than 14:22:41 5 that that I recall, other than that Mr. Pozner was 14:22:45 6 his client, that his child had died at in the 14:22:52 7 Newtown massacre, and that Mr. Fetzer had been 14:22:58 8 involved in making statements that Mr. Pozner had 14:23:03 9 concocted this. And I think I — he may have told — 14:23:08 10 I think he probably told me that someone had 14:23:10 11 threatened Mr. Pozner’s life. 14:23:18 12
Q. Did Mr. Pozner tell you that — that he has 14:23:23 13 been involved in any other litigation relating to 14:23:27 14 Sandy Hook? 14:23:30 15
A. I think he is involved with litigation 14:23:34 16 against a Mr. Jones, InfoWars. 14:23:43 17
Q. And — And do you know who — who Mr. Jones 14:23:48 18 is? 14:23:50 19
A. What I recall being told is that he speaks a 14:23:54 20 lot, that he has a website or podcast and that he 14:24:01 21 speaks a lot about these issues. 14:24:05 22
Q. When you say “these issues,” what do you 14:24:08 23 mean by that? 14:24:09 24
A. Sandy Hook, and I believe other — other 14:24 :13 25 things which he believes are hoaxes.
Q. And you made reference to “InfoWars.” What 14:24:22 2 is that? 14:24:24 3
A. I think that’s the name of the web — maybe 14:24:27 4 the name of his website? I mean I heard that term 14:24:33 5 once or twice, but I the and I think it was 14:24:38 6 refers to the website. But the main thing was that 14:24:42 7 Mr. — that the gentleman had spread the ideas of Mr. 14:24:50 8 Fetzer. 14:24:53 9
Q. I’m sorry. “Spread the ideas of Mr. 14:24:55 10 Fetzer,” is that what you said? 14:24:56 11
A. Of Dr. Fetzer. Yes. 14:24:58 12
Q. And then was was was information about 14:25:02 13 Mr. Jones and InfoWars, was that that information 14:25:07 14 provided to you by — by Mr. Pozner? 14:25:13 15
A. That’s my only recollection. I mean I 14:25:16 16 Mr. Zimmerman may have said something about it, but my 14:25:19 17 recollection is that doc Mr. Pozner told me that 14:25:26 18 on our talk yesterday, that the primary generator of 14:25:35 19 the ideas was Dr. Fetzer, and that Mr. Jones had been 14:25:42 20 active in sort of spreading them through his media 14:25:45 21 outlets, and speaking. 14:25:50 22
Q. And when you say primary generator of — of 14:25:54 23 Mr. Pozner’s Mr. Fetzer’s positions, are you D 14:26:00 24 talking about — are you stating then generally in 14:26:05 25 regard to that — that the event Sandy Hook itself did not occur? 14:26:11 2
A. Could I have the question again, please. 14:26:13 3 because I think you may have switched names, but 14:26:16 4 please repeat the question. 14:26:20 5
Q. Right. 14:26:21 6 You made reference then that that Mr. 14:26:25 7 Pozner indicated that Alex Jones was a primary 14:26:30 8 generator of Mr. Fetzer’s ideas. 14:26:36 9 MS. STEDMAN: Objection, mischaracterizes. 14:26:38 10
Q. My question is: When you say primary 14:26:40 11 generator of Mr. Fetzer’s ideas, are you talking 14:26:43 12 generally about denying the occurrence of Sandy Hook n 14:26:47 13 as an event? 14:26:49 14 MS. STEDMAN: Objection. I believe that 14:26:51 15 mischaracterizes the prior testimony. 14:26:58 16
A. I don’t know what exact 14:26:59 17 Q- And I guess — 14:27:01 18
A. I don’t know what 14:27:02 19
Q. Go ahead. Go ahead. 14:27:03 20
A. You’re going beyond what I said. 14:27:05 21 I don’t know exactly what ideas Mr. Jones 14:27:12 22 has — has spread. I don’t know whether he has the 14:27:17 23 same opinion of things as Dr. Fetzer. I o 14:27:22 24 overwhelmingly spoke with Mr. Pozner about Dr. Fetzer, 14:27:28 25 but I recall him Mr. Pozner telling me that — in general that Mr. Jones acted through his media outlets n 14:27:41 2 to spread ideas about hoaxes. 14:27:44 3 In terms of this particular case, I don’t 14:27:46 4 know what Mr. Jones has specifically said in terms of 14:27:51 5 Mr. Pozner. I don’t know whether he believes that the 14:27:55 6 did or didn’t occur, or that or whatmassacre 14:28:00 7 involvement he felt that Mr. Pozner had, just that — 14:28:06 8 a general statement that he was a major player in 14:28:10 9 spreading these ideas. In spreading the — 14:28:10 10 Q- Have you reached — 14:28:15 11
A. — ideas in general about hoaxes. 14:28:19 12
Q. I’m sorry. I didn’t hear you, doctor. n 14:28:20 13
A. That he was a significant figure in 14:28:22 14 spreading ideas about hoaxes, and there was and 14:28:26 15 that he said some things about Sandy Hook, but what he 14 : 28:29 16 said, I do not know. 14:28:34 17
Q. Have you reached any — any opinions as to a 14:28:42 18 diagnosis of Mr. Pozner’s condition? 14:28:45 19
A. As I mentioned before, that he has Chronic 14:28:49 20 Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. 14:28:58 21
Q. And is it 14:28:59 22 Am I correct, though, that in terms of the 14:29:03 23 initial stress stressor in this case, you’re not n 14 -.29:08 24 contending, for instance, that – Well, I’m sorry. 14:29:11 25 Let me — Let me ask the threshold question. What With respect to the diagnosis of O 14:29:15 14:29:17 2 Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, what do you identify 14:29:22 3 as the the stressor event? 14:29:28 4
A. The initial commencement of this was the 14:29:33 5 the massacre. his son being killed; but were it not 14:29:40 6 for the denial of the death of his son, the 14:29:49 7 harassments and threats, he would have healed and been 14:29:57 8 having a relatively normal life several years ago and 14:30:01 9 he wouldn’t continue to have Post-Traumatic Stress 14:30:07 10 Disorder. 14:30:12 11
Q. With regret — 14:30:13 12 With respect to the denial information that 14:30:20 13 you just referenced, that’s not information, though — 14:30:23 14 that’s not — that’s not an event that you are 14:30:26 15 identifying as satisfying the first criteria for a 14:30:30 16 diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder; is that 14:30:32 17 correct? 14:30:35 18
A. Correct. That does not meet criteria for 14:30:39 19 Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, but it is certainly a 14:30:43 20 stressful thing in and of itself, and in forensic 14:30:48 21 psychiatry the issue is not so much diagnosis as 14:30:52 22 impact. Something doesn’t have to meet the diagnostic 14:30:56 23 criteria to adversely — for someone to be harmed. o 14:31:04 24 Sometimes things don’t fit into the specific criteria 14:31:08 25 created by psychiatry.
Q. But in terms of the DSM-5 criteria for rs 14:31:12 14:31:16 2 diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, you are 14:31:19 3 not identifying, then, Mr. Pozner 14:31:22 4 Or, I’m sorry. I apologize. 14:31:25 5 Dr. Fetzer as — as causing any diagnosis 14:31:31 6 of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder; is that correct? 14:31:37 7
A. This is depending upon how people use the 14:31:39 8 word “cause,” and I — people could understand that 14:31:47 9 word differently. The best I can do is to explain my 14:31:50 10 thi my — really to repeat my statement, which is 14:31:54 11 that were it not for the actions of Dr. Fetzer and the 14:32:00 12 other things that got stirred up from it, I believe 14:32:03 13 that Mr. Pozner would have healed a few years ago, 14 : 32:09 14 would have been able to go on, enjoy life, have 14:32:12 15 relationships, be close to people, continue whatever 14:32:15 16 work he wanted, and that it is the actions of Dr. 14:32:22 17 Fetzer are a key part of why he is still suffering and 14:32:32 18 at this time meets the criteria for Post-Traumatic 14:32:34 19 Stress Disorder. 14:32:36 20
Q. And the criteria for the DSM criteria for 14:32:40 21 Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, the first criteria 14:32:43 22 that we’re talking about is “exposure to death. 14:32:49 23 threatened death, actual or threatened serious injury. 14:32:52 24 or actual or threatened sexual violence”; is that 14:32:55 25 correct?
A. Yes. 14:32:57 2
Q. And that criteria requires direct exposure, 14:33:01 3 witnessing such trauma, learning that a relative or 14:33:04 4 close friend was exposed to a trauma, or indirect 14 : 33:09 5 exposure to aversive details of the trauma. Are those 14:33:14 6 — Do you — 14:33:15 7 Are you familiar with those as part of the 14:33:16 8 criteria for a diagnosis of PTSD? 14:33:19 9
A. Yes . Those are — I’m not going to swear 14:33:22 10 every single word, but it sounds pretty much word for 14:33:26 11 word of what DSM says. 14:33:28 12
Q. And is it rs 14:33:29 13 And as I understand your testimony, the — 14:33:32 14 the statements that are at issue in this lawsuit do 14:33:38 15 not meet the criteria that first criteria for a 14:33:40 16 diagnosis of PTSD; is that correct? 14:33:49 17
A. We get into a difficult area because having 14:33:54 18 one’s life threatened I think would certainly meet the 14:34:01 diagnostic criteria for PTSD.19 14:34:07 20
Q. And — And the having one’s life threatened. 14:34:10 21 I think you’re referring to the incident that we’ve 14:34:12 22 discussed a little bit where someone, I think you 14:34:17 23 said, may have gone to jail for the — for the event? 14:34:20 24
A. Yes . 14:34:22 25
Q. Okay. And so that But you’re not attribut — but that that r> 14:34:29 2 incident, as far as you know, was not perpetrated by 14:34:32 3 Dr. Fetzer; is that correct? 14:34:35 4 A. He was not the one to call him up and 14:34:37 5 threaten Mr. Pozner’s life, but the — you know, I 14:34:45 6 think it’s up — it’s a legal issue, and not a 14:34:50 7 psychiatric one, to decide on what blame is attributed 14:34:57 8 to each person, but what 14:35:03 9
Q. And is it 14:35:05 10
A. but what I am 14:35:06 11
Q. I’m sorry. Go ahead. 14:35:07 12
A. What I’m saying is were it not for Dr. 14:35:11 13 Fetzer’s actions, Mr. Pozner would not have PTSD and 14:35:19 14 would be having a much better life. 14:35:33 15 Q- Were there — Are you — 14:35:34 16 With respect to the — the event at Sandy 14:35:39 17 Hook, what you refer to as the massacre, is it your 14:35:41 18 testimony, then, that that that event itself 14:35:47 19 Well let me ask you. Did that 14:35:49 20 That event itself would satisfy the criteria 14:35:52 21 — the first criteria for a DSM-5 diagnosis of PTSD; 14:35:56 22 is that correct? 14:35:56 23
A. Yes . 14:36:00 24
Q. And did that event cause any — any unwanted 14:36:06 25 or upsetting memories with respect to Mr. Pozner?
A. Yes. I mean — My belief is that he did get 14:36:15 2 PTSD from that, but he was on the mend, and what then 14:36:20 3 happened was that the stress of the various things we 14:36:29 4 were talk the harassment, et cetera, the 14:36:31 5 accusations, added greatly to his stress and lead him 14:36:36 6 to become worse, and – but that in addition, even 14:36:42 7 without — even if he had totally recovered, having 14:36:50 8 someone threaten your life, having people harass you 14:36:57 9 and with a constant concern that some of these 14:37:04 10 people may again either threaten you or try to 14:37:07 11 physically hurt you or your family, that that by 14:37:12 12 itself can cause PTSD. O 14:37:16 13 Now separating out to what extent he has 14:37:21 14 PTSD because of the massacre, to what extent because 14:37:27 15 he was threatened, to what extent it’s because he 14:37:31 16 didn’t heal — wasn’t able to finish healing because 14:37:35 17 of the harassment and threats and false statements. 14:37:41 18 that is very difficult, and I — from a forensic point 14:37:49 19 of view, unnecessary. The crucial thing, from a 14:37:51 20 forensic point of view, is how would he be functioning 14:37:55 21 were it not for this event, and had it not been for 14:37:58 22 the Dr. Fetzer and the connected harassment and 14:38:08 23 threats and invalidation, he would be doing well, but 14:38:15 24 14:38:15 25
Q. And you — And is it your opinion that, to a reasonable rs 14:38:19 2 degree of professional certainty, that — that people 14:38:24 3 in the absence of, for instance, the statements that 14:38:27 4 you’re attributing to Mr. Fetzer, that — that people 14:38:31 5 who experience, in this case, the death of a child 14:38:36 6 through a — what you’ve described as a massacre, that 14:38:41 7 those people, to a reasonable degree of professional 14:38:44 8 certainty, would — would — would always recover? 14:38:51 9
A. I am not — I am not going to say — 14:38:55 10 Well first of all, the question is what one 14:38:58 11 means by “recovery.” There — In general, people will 14 -.39:07 12 recover to the extent that they would not meet the 14:39:12 13 diagnostic criteria and that they would be functioning 14:39:16 14 fairly well in life. I think that anyone who’s lost a 14:39:19 15 child is likely to find themselves distressed at all 14:39:23 16 holidays and whenever there is something that triggers 14:39:27 17 a memory. So is the person going to be as if it never 14:39:32 18 occurred? No, I’m not saying that. But would people 14:39:37 19 normally, in two to three years, get to a position in 14:39:42 20 which they’re able to enjoy things again, as social 14:39:48 21 almost as social as they used to be, able to 14:39:50 22 concentrate and be calm enough and not have problems 14:39:56 23 with irritability so that they could do their work? n 14:39:59 24 Yes . I would expect people to go back to relatively 14:40:02 25 normal lives, which would be — have certainly moments of sadness and loss of enjoyment in certain activities O 14:40:12 2 that remind them of the loss. 14:40:18 3 But what we have here is a very different 14:40:20 4 situation. We have someone who was recovering, who 14:40:23 5 then went downhill because of the stress and the 14:40:30 6 threat he has experienced to himself and concern for 14:40:35 7 his family members’ safety. 14:40:41 8
Q. Can you describe Mr. Pozner’s condition 14:40:48 9 prior to any publication by anything by Mr. Fetz — by 14:40:53 10 Dr. Fetzer? 14:40:54 11
A. He reported to me that he was doing 14:40:58 12 significantly better than in the initial months, that 14:41:03 13 he had not, you know, fully pulled out of things but 14:41:08 14 he was significantly better, and then he went downhill 14:41:12 15 after this — the publications and the allegations 14:41:15 16 were coming out. 14:41:19 17
Q. And did he tell you when the publication 14:41:25 18 occurred? 14:41:27 19
A. Oh, about I think about the the 14:41:31 20 publication, I’m not sure. The He told me that the 14:41:38 21 challenges to whether it occurred and him were around 14:41:50 22 — those added things came arou — started coming 14:41:53 23 around 16 months or so after. I don’t think it’s just Cs 14:41:58 24 what I call a massacre, I think what I don’t know 14:42:00 25 what you would call it, but I think it’s hard to not call it a massacre. 14:42:11 2
Q. In terms of satisfying any DSM criteria. 14:42:21 3 it’s the DSM criteria for PTSD, is that the only 14:42:25 4 criteria that — that you are offering an opinion on 14:42:28 5 as to Mr. Pozner? 14:42:34 6
A. I am certainly using the criteria, but once 14:42:37 7 again, it is not cent — the specific diagnosis is not 14 : 42:45 8 central in forensic psychiatry. It’s useful in 14:42:51 9 various ways. One of the ways is whether — to see 14:42:55 10 whether the symptom pattern fits a known pattern. 14:42:58 11 which affects your assessment of credibility. But 14:43:01 12 what is important is the way the — what the symptoms 14:43:06 13 are, how severe they are, and how they affect this 14:43:11 14 person’s lifestyle. 14:43:14 15 It’s theoretically possible that — not just 14:43:19 16 theoretically possible, it happens that someone 14:43:21 17 doesn’t meet every single criteria, and we then say 14:43:25 18 they have sub-syndromal PTSD. Those people can be 14:43:31 19 almost as impaired as someone who has PTSD, and 14:43:36 20 there’s a wide range of what PTSD can do to people in 14:43:42 21 terms of how much it impairs their lives, or a wide 14:43:46 22 range of what major depression can do. Everything 14:43:50 23 from the person feels pretty yucky and can’t enjoy n 14:43:54 24 things very much, to the person is trying to kill 14:43:56 25 themselves or unable to do anything but lie in bed. What’s critical is not the specific 14:44: 02 2 diagnosis, what’s critical is the specific symptoms 14:44:06 3 and how that affects 14:44:06 4
Q. And with regard — 14:44:07 5
A. this individual. 14:44:08 6
Q. — to the sympt — 14:44:11 7 With regard to Mr. Pozner and the symptoms 14:44:14 8 that you — that he has described to you, would you 14:44:2 0 9 expect that someone with that level of symptoms would 14:44:23 10 be receiving treatment? 14:44:29 11
A. More often than not people don’t. People — 14:44:36 12 You know, part of — as we discussed, avoidance is one r> 14:44:43 13 of the symptoms of PTSD, avoiding talking about it. 14:44:48 14 And many people do not seek treatment. In fact. 14:45:00 15 probably more than half the people I see don’t — you 14:45:02 16 know, who I see for a forensic way do not seek 14:45:05 17 treatment. 14:45:08 18
Q. Did Mr. Pozner talk to you about that issue. 14:45:14 19 why or why he did not or has not sought any treatment? 14:45:18 20
A. I don’t recall discussing it, and I didn’t 14:45:20 21 see anything in my notes. It was an oversight to not 14:45:23 22 ask, but it doesn’t change my ultimate assessment, and 14:45:30 23 again it would only be significant if it somehow invalidated what he was saying. I mean, if I were to n 14:45:35 24 14:45:38 25 read that, you know, a year after the events he was completely recovered, or if I were to find out that. Cs 14:45:46 2 you know, he in no way, you know, got worse after the. 14:45:58 3 you know, attacks on him came out, that would be an 14:46:02 4 issue — that would affect the credibility assessment. 14:46:04 5 but then that’s, again, information that I would be 14:46:07 6 providing to the jury so they could make their 14:46:09 7 assessment. 14:46:13 8
Q. Is it fair to say that in terms of the role 14:46:18 9 of a psychiatrist as a forensic evaluator, are you 14:46:25 10 offering any opinions as to causation? 14:46:32 li
A. Causation of what?
Q. Causation of in — in terms of the injury Cs 14:46:41 13 that you’re testifying to. 14:46:49 14
A. All I can really do is repeat myself. 14:46:51 15 counselor, that he would not — to a reasonable degree 14:46:58 16 of medical certainty he would not be suffering from 14:47:00 17 PTSD now had the events the actions of Dr. Fetzer 14:47:06 18 and the sort of related actions of people, had those 14:47:11 19 things not occurred, he would not now have 14:47:16 20 Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. And, you know, the 14:47:22 21 symptoms he’s having is a combination of — the 14:47:26 22 symptoms he’s having at this time are a combination of 14:47:28 23 the tremendous stress, invalidation, negation — 14:47:33 24 attempt to negate his son, turning him into a pariah 14:47:38 25 that Dr. Fetzer has engaged in, plus the — as a result of that, at least or in part as a result, or at r> 14:47:49 i 14:47:52 2 least partly because of that, the fact that people 14:47:55 3 have threatened him, and having — being threatened is 14:48:01 4 sufficient to cause PTSD. 14:48:09 5
Q. You talked about avoidance both in your 14:48:13 6 earlier discussion with Attorney Stedman, and — and 14:48:18 7 with myself. Can you — Can you talk a — tell us a 14:48:22 8 little bit more about what you mean by “avoidance”? 14:48:25 9
A. There are two types of avoidance that are 14:48:28 10 designated in the diagnostic criteria for PTSD. You 14:48:34 11 need only to have one of them. And one is avoidance 14:48:40 12 of places or activities or things that remind you of 14:48:49 13 the event, and certainly there is avoidance of. He 14:48:57 14 left Newtown. He would rather not go back, but makes 14:49:05 15 himself because his son is buried there, and there may 14:49:09 16 be some other activities perhaps, but he doesn’t want 14:49:11 17 to go. And the other is avoidance of could be 14:49:17 18 avoidance of thinking about it, could be efforts to 14:49:20 19 avoid talking about it. 14:49:27 20
Q. Trauma-related reminders? 14:49:29 21
A. Yes . 14:49:31 22
Q. And in this particular case, would — would 14:49:33 23 the statements by Dr. Fetzer, or Mr. Jones, would they 14:49:41 24 be trauma-related reminders? 14:49:47 25
Q. I’m sorry. I didn’t hear you, sir. r> 14:49:50 14:49:52 2
A. Yes .
Q. Okay. And do you know whether or not Mr. 14:49:57 4 Pozner has engaged in avoidance of trauma-related 14:50:02 5 reminders? 14:50:04 6
A. Well he’s tried to get them off the 14:50:10 7 internet. He’s tried to get it — 14:50:10 8
Q. And how does he 14:50:14 9
A. to stop. 14:50:19 10
Q. And when he does that, does he then does 14:50:22 11 he does he 14:50:24 12 Well first of all, let me ask you this: How o 14:50:26 13 do you know that he does that? 14:50:27 14
A. I’m taking his word for it that he’s made 14:50:30 15 actions to try to get false content removed. 14 : 50:36 16
Q. And do you know whether he spends a 14 : 50:39 17 considerable amount of effort in trying to locate 14:50:43 18 trauma-related reminders? 14:50:46 19
A. I believe he does. 14:50:50 20 Well wait. Stop. Let me Let me take 14:50:52 21 that back. Wait. 14:50:53 22 Trying to locate trauma — No. Let me take 14 : 50:56 23 that back. I spoke too quickly. 14:50:58 24 He spends significant time trying to get 14:51:00 25 false content off the web.
Q. And the content that you’re talking about. <*> 14:51:04 14:51:06 2 though, is what we’ve — is essentially trauma-related 14:51:10 3 reminders, at least in this particular instance; 14:51:14 4 correct? 14:51:14 5
A. It is a trauma-related reminder. and you’re 14:51:17 6 trying to create concepts with words that 14:51:24 7 scientifically do not hold up. 14:51:26 8 The fact that he goes on the internet and 14:51:30 9 looks for stuff that’s very upsetting to him to get 14:51:33 10 rid of it, that does — in no way does that invalidate 14:51:37 11 PTSD. And as I said before, one does not have to have 14:51:45 12 both types of avoidance. One only needs one type of O 14:51:48 13 avoidance, and he has avoidance of the area. And it 14:51:52 14 doesn’t — there’s no requirement that you try to 14:51:56 15 avoid any type of reminder that might exist, simply 14:52:02 16 that there is avoidance of some reminders. It doesn’t 14:52:05 17 have to be every type of reminder that exists, it just 14:52:08 18 has to be some type of reminders. 14:52:13 19
Q. The criteria itself, though, talks about 14:52:15 20 avoidance of trauma-related stimuli after the trauma 14:52:19 21 in the following ways: Trauma-related thoughts or 14:52:22 22 feelings, and trauma-related reminders. 14:52:24 23 Does that sound correct to you? D 14:52:28 24
A. I — I would rather pull the DSM myself 14:52:32 25 and and see the exact words. Would you like me to STIREWALT & ASSOCIATES 1-800-553-1953 [email protected] Case 2018CV003122 Document 305 Scanned 10-15-2019 Page 83 of 114 83 1 do that? r> 14:52:35 14:52:37 2
Q. Sure. 14:52:40 3 THE WITNESS: Can we pause a minute while I 14:52:42 4 get my DSM? 14:53:13 5 THE REPORTER: Off the record, please. 14:53:15 6 (Recess taken from 2:53 to 2:57 p.m.) 14:57:57 7 THE REPORTER: Would you like me to read 14:58:02 8 the pending question? 14:58:06 9 MS. STEDMAN: I’ll — Why don’t I just 14:58:09 10 begin with a new one. 14:58:10 11 THE REPORTER: Thank you. 14:58:11 12 BY MS. STEDMAN: 14:58:11 13
Q. Doctor, can you hear me okay? 14:58:13 14
A. Yes, I can. 14:58:14 15 Q. Doctor, my understanding is that while we 14:58:17 16 were just previously discussing the DSM criteria for 14:58:23 17 PTSD, or the DSM-5 criteria, you we took a break 14:58:31 18 and you were going to find the actual criteria for 14:58:36 19 that. Did you — Were you able to find — find that? 14:58:39 20
A. Yes . 14:58:43 21
Q. And the — how many — how many criteria are 14:58:49 22 identified officially in the DSM? 14:58:53 23
A. From beginning to end, all of them? There o 14:58:57 24 are the ones we talk 14:58:58 25
Q. I’m just asking right now how — I’m sorry?
A. Altogether there’s A through H. r> 14:59:01 14:59:05 2
Q. Okay. And one of those that we were talking 14:59:07 3 about was the — I think it may be referred to as the 14:59:11 4 C criterion relating to avoidance; is that correct? 14:59:15 5
A. Yes. 14:59:18 6
Q. And that and and 14:59:22 7 And that particular criteria, you said. 14:59:24 8 requires one of the — one of two specified criteria 14:59:31 9 be satisfied. It says: Avoidance of trauma-related 14:59:35 10 stimuli after the trauma, in the following way(s): 14:59:39 11 Trauma-related thoughts or feelings,” or 14:59:41 12 trauma-related reminders. 14:59:42 13 Did I read that correctly? 14:59:44 14
A. Well “external reminders,” people, places, 14:59:47 15 et cetera. 14:59:50 16
Q. Okay. And with respect to the information 14:59:57 17 on the internet that Mr. Pozner has undertaken to try 15:00:03 18 and have removed, would you describe that as avoidance 15:00:10 19 behavior? 15:00:12 20
A. That’s — That’s very complex. I could see 15:00:17 21 it — people talking about it in various ways. On the 15:00:21 22 one hand he is certainly going out to the internet to 15:00:28 23 find it; on the other hand he’s trying to — he’s And so I think that people n 15:00:30 24 doing it to get rid of it. 15:00:32 25 could — you know, the word “avoidance” doesn’t really fit in that situation. But clearly he le — he left n 15:00:40 15:00:44 2 Newtown, in large part because of the reminders and 15:00:52 3 doesn’t want to go there. And I have treated large 15:00:55 4 numbers of people with PTSD, and, you know, you rarely 15:01:00 5 have anyone who avoids every possible reminder in 15:01:05 6 every way. And it’s very clear here. You don’t have 15:01:11 7 to avoid external reminders at all. It could be, you 15:01:18 8 know, internal remind — you know, memories, thoughts. 15:01:21 9 or it could be external reminders, and it doesn’t say 15:01:25 10 avoidance or efforts — it doesn’t say “avoidance,” it 15:01:29 11 says “avoidance or efforts to avoid,” and it doesn’t 15:01:32 12 say “all” external reminders. It says “reminders,” o 15:01:39 13 not “all.” Otherwise then you woul — what if 15:01:46 14 The way you’re defining it, then anyone who 15:01:49 15 goes into therapy could not have PTSD because they’re 15:01:55 16 going to talk about it and they’ll know they’ll talk 15:01:59 17 about it in therapy. And there are many people who do 15:02:01 18 avoid therapy, but by your analysis, anyone who goes 15:02:05 19 for therapy could not possibly have PTSD, at which 15:02:09 20 point all the research on PTSD treatment is invalid 15:02:13 21 because anyone who would go for treatment couldn’t 15:02:16 22 have it. 15:02:19 23
Q. So with regard to Mr. Pozner’s, though, o 15:02:28 24 searching the internet for the material he wants to 15:02:32 25 have removed, is that — is that behavior, though. that you considered at all in your evaluation of Mr. 15:02:41 2 Pozner? 15:02:43 3
A. Yes, I’ve thought about it. 15:02:46 4
Q. And did you — did you give it any 15:02:48 5 significance? 15:02:53 6
A. His desire to get rid of this material, show 15:03:07 7 — is a strong indi –very strong indication of how 15 : 03 :10 8 upsetting — upset he is by it, and supports his 15:03:20 9 statements that it’s terribly upsetting. 15:03:27 10
Q. Let me go back to something we talked about 15:03:29 11 at the very beginning in terms of confirmation bias. 15:03:34 12 Is the concept of confirmation bias simply applicable O 15:03:38 13 to the individual being evaluated, or is that a – is 15:03:40 14 that a — is that an issue that may also affect the 15:03:45 15 evaluator? 15:03:46 16 A. I do not understand what you’re — what you 15:03:49 17 think it means. I don’t understand how you’re using 15:03:52 18 it. It affect everyone 15:03:57 19 Confirmation bias can affect everyone. 15:04:06 20
Q. And in your evaluation — 15:04:12 21 As I understand it, confirmation bias is 15:04:14 22 basically when people in any context basically view 15:04:21 23 information in a way that supports their — some D 15:04:27 24 preexisting conclusion. 15:04:30 25
A. Yes .
Q. In this particular case, in the case of Mr. 15:04:38 2 Pozner, you’ve — you’ve — you’ve discussed 15:04:42 3 information and — and reasoning that you have 15:04:50 4 considered and concluded supports your conclusions. 15:04:53 5 I’m interested in whether or not there was any 15:04:55 6 information that you considered and concluded that it 15:05:02 7 — that it did not support your ultimate opinions. 15:05:06 8 Was there anything — Was there anything on the other 15:05:09 9 side of the ledger? 15:05:16 10
A. I could answer that in a way that would I 15:05:19 11 think be of value, but I can’t directly answer. I’ ve 15:05:22 12 got to tal — D 15:05:23 13 May I talk about it for a minute to try to 15:05:25 14 explain my thinking? I can’t — I can’t give a — 15:05:30 15 it’s 15:05:30 16
Q. I’ll tell you what — 15:05:32 17
A. I certainly considered — 15:05:34 18
Q. Sure. You may — you may, but try to be 15:05:38 19 focused in terms of 15:05:39 20
A. Yes . 15:05:40 21
Q. your answer, if you can. 15:05:43 22
A. I appreciate the flexibility, counsel. 15:05:45 23 because my aim is to be as succinct as possible and cs 15:05:48 24 give you the answer to your question as well as 15:05:51 25 possible. STIREWALT & ASSOCIATES 1-800-553-1953 infogstirewalt.com Case 2018CV003122 Document 305 Scanned 10-15-2019 Page 88 of 114 88 15:05:52 1 The — In doing a personal injury suit it’s rs 15:06:01 2 it’s not — he is injured/he’s not injured. That’s 15:06:08 3 usually not the question. Usually there is some level 15:06:12 4 of problem or the lawyers wouldn’t have brought you 15:06:14 5 the case, though I have certainly found people to be 15:06:18 6 malingering, and I have turned to lawyers who want — 15:06:23 7 plaintiff lawyers and said, “I don’t believe your 15:06:25 8 clients.” So I’ve certainly done that. But usually 15:06:32 9 there’s there’s this broad area of is he affected a 15:06:36 10 little, a moderate amount, a lot, and how much is it 15:06:43 11 affecting him. And so if we — there’s certainly data 15:06:52 12 that indicates that I’ve considered, that’s very 15:06:55 13 important to me, that he’s not totally wiped out. He 15:07:02 14 He has — He has a purpose. He is — He goes on 15:07:07 15 the internet, he’s fighting the abuse of victims. And 15 : 07:17 16 so he’s not lying in bed all day doing nothing. He 15:07:26 17 was able to talk with me about it. He isn’t so 15:07:31 18 impaired that he couldn’t begin to — that he began to 15:07:34 19 cry and stop the subject immediately. And yes, if – 15:07:41 20 that certainly was very important to me that he’s not 15:07:45 21 nonfunctional. 15:07:49 22 So I considered informa — if you… 15:07:56 23 So I considered information that shows that 15:07:59 24 he is not affected to the maximum extent possible, and 15:08:06 25 I have not said that he is affected to the maximum STIREWALT & ASSOCIATES 1-800-553-1953 infoSstirewalt.com Case 2018CV003122 Document 305 Scanned 10-15-2019 Page 89 of 114 89 15:08:09 1 extent possible. I’m not saying he can’t do anything. r\ 15:08:12 2 I’m not saying that he is — needs to be hospitalized. 15:08:18 3 that he can’t begin to function in life. I have not 15:08:20 4 said that. What I’ve said is that his life is this 15:08:28 5 significantly takes away from his life. 15:08:34 6
Q. The 15:08:37 7 When we talked about the absence of any 15:08:42 8 information about treatment, at least as as a 15:08:47 9 consideration, is that something — is that a is 15:08:52 10 that a factor that impacts, or that you consider in 15:08:59 11 reaching your opinions? 15:09:02 12
A. I almost always ask about it, it was an 15:09:05 13 oversight. It mostly affects my assessment of 15:09:11 14 credibility, to see whether it’s consistent or not. 15:09:15 15 but I have seen many people with — who are 15:09:20 16 significantly compromised by PTSD who do not get 15:09:23 17 therapy and don’t want to begin to talk — to talk 15:09:27 18 about it or deal with it or don’t believe in therapy, 15:09:31 19 and I’ve seen people who do get therapy. so 15:09:36 20
Q. And with regard to — 15:09:38 21 I’m sorry. Go ahead.
A. So it doesn’t it doesn’t whether someone or not gets therapy doesn’t — I do not find that, in general, to be terribly reliable information 15:09:55 25 in assessing how serious the PTSD is.
Q. With respect to your interactions with Mr. O 15:10:07 15:10:12 2 Pozner, did he seem reluctant to interact with you and 15:10:16 3 to provide information to you? 15:10:21 4 A. He seemed quite open. 15:10:24 5
Q. I’m sorry. I didn’t hear you. 15:10:26 6
A. He seemed open. He spoke well. He was 15:10:30 7 thoughtful. 15:10:42 8 Q. In terms of Mr. Pozner1s condition prior to 15:10:49 9 the — what you’re — what you attribute to Mr. or 15:10:54 10 to Dr. Fetzer, do you — what can you tell me about 15:10:56 11 his prior functioning and — and after but after 15:11:02 12 the Sandy Hook shooting? 15:11:06 13 MS. STEDMAN: Objection, asked and 15:11:07 14 answered. 15:11:11 15
A. I am not sure I can say much more than 15:11:14 16 before, which is that he was certainly deeply affected 15:11:17 17 by the loss of his son, that he was doing better than 15:11:22 18 he was in the initial months, he was on the mend, and 15:11:25 19 that he went downhill after he was confronted with 15:11:33 20 denials of what had happened. 15:11:39 21
Q. And in terms of the going downhill, what 15:11:45 22 changed? 15:11:48 23
A. He became more stressed, more symptomatic. 15:11:51 24 I didn’t discuss specifically the different symptoms. 15:11:55 25 but in general he felt worse, and then I did go into detail about the specific symptoms that he was having 15:12:01 2 at this time, as we discussed before. 15:12:09 3
Q. Have you ever evaluated a case for PTSD 15:12:14 4 where the — one of the stressors that you’re caus — 15:12:24 5 or finding was a remote cause such as something that 15:12:30 6 was — something that was appearing on the internet? 15:12:38 7
A. I don’t recall Well. . . 15:12:48 8 I don’t recall another case where something 15:12:49 9 just appearing on the internet lead to PTSD, but this 15:12:58 10 is not just a question of something appearing on the 15:13:01 11 internet. There’s a — It’s my understanding that the 15:13:07 12 work that “work” that the actions that Dr. 15:13:12 13 Fetzer took lead to various events, including a threat 15:13:18 14 to kill him, harassment, et cetera. It’ s The issue 15:13:26 15 is not just the thing that triggered things, it’s the 15:13:33 16 whole thing. I mean, if — if someone gets shoved off 15 :13:39 17 a curb and hit by a car, you know, one can’t say that, 15:13:45 18 oh well. you can’t blame the — it was just a shove. 15:13:48 19 Have you ever — Has someone ever gotten PTSD before 15:13:51 20 from a shove? Well it started with the shove, but the 15:13:54 21 shove lead to the person to be hit by a car. And the 15:13:58 22 internet and book and whatever lead to a cascade of 15:14:04 23 events that were, in themselves, sufficient to cause 15:14:09 24 PTSD. 15:14:11 25
Q. And when you say that this was set in motion by the actions of Dr. Fetzer, and — and not just the rs 15:14:14 15:14:22 2 publication — publications, what do you mean by that? 15:14:27 3
A. Okay. I think it’s outside of 15:14:35 4 I think it’s a legal question more than a 15:14:38 5 psychiatric one to say exactly what — where 15:14:45 6 responsibility for each of the series of chain of 15:14:50 7 things began. It’s my understanding that Dr. Fetzer’s 15:14:52 8 actions were a key issue leading to other events; 15:15:00 9 harassments, denials, invalidation, life threat. I 15:15:08 10 mean if Dr. Fetzer 15:15:08 11
Q. Have you ever gone 15:15:09 12
A. had written o 15:15:12 13 If Dr. Fetzer had written the book and no 15:15:14 14 one had read it and no one else knew anything about 15:15:18 15 it, then Mr. Pozner wouldn’t have been affected just 15:15:24 16 because there happened to be a book that existed that 15:15:27 17 no one read. 15:15:30 18 It’s — And it’s a legal question whether 15:15:34 19 writing the book, when it leads to events that would 15:15:38 20 not otherwise have occurred, what responsibility to 15:15:42 21 give to that book. 15:15:49 22
Q. With regard to the concept of validation 15:15:51 23 that you’ve talked about, and you indicated that — 15:15:59 24 that someone does not provide support or validation 15:16:04 25 for basically a trauma — someone who has experienced trauma, in your experience has that usually involved o 15:16:13 2 immediate family members or people that the — that 15:16:18 3 the individual has direct contact, rather than sort of 15:16:21 4 a a — an external media or internet presence? 15:16:33 5
A. Most of the cases that I have personally had 15:16:37 6 dealt with — you know, involve contact with someone 15:16:42 7 where, you know, a nurse, a police person, a district 15:16:48 8 attorney, a teacher, a law guardian says, in one way 15:16:56 9 or another, I don’t believe this happened, or it’s no 15:16:58 10 big deal, get over it. 15:17:04 11
Q. Did Mr. Pozner have any predisposition to 15:17:12 12 PTSD, any factors or flags that would — would suggest 15:17:19 13 a predisposition? 15:17:22 14
A. I’m not aware of any, and even if he did. 15:17:28 15 you know, there is the issue – I’m not aware of any 15:17:31 16 — any predisposition, but even if it did, legally 15:17:35 17 it’s — it’s just an eggshell case then, it doesn’t 15:17:37 18 really matter whether he was vulnerable to it or not, 15:17:40 19 from a legal perspective. 15:17:42 20
Q. Did you — 15:17:45 21 Did you do any family — any inquiry 15:17:49 22 regarding family history? 15:17:51 23
A. Things that had happened around the event. 15:17:55 24 yes, but no. I did not ask his parents — if his 15:17:59 25 parents had diagnoses, or anyone had depression STIREWALT & ASSOCIATES 1-800-553-1953 [email protected] stirewait.com Case 2018CV003122 Document 305 Scanned 10-15-2019 Page 94 of 114 94 15:18:01 1 before. From a legal — n 15:18:01 2
Q. In any — 15:18:06 3
A. — point of view — 15:18:07 4 From a forensic point of view, a legal point 15:18:10 5 of view it’s irrelevant, really, to to the issues 15:18:16 6 that I’m asked to opine on. Whether someone had 15:18:19 7 was more vulnerable than average or less vulnerable 15:18:23 8 than average in my understanding is — is legally 15:18:26 9 irrelevant. 15:18:28 10 Q. Okay. You’re not a lawyer, though; is that 15:18:30 11 correct? 15:18:31 12
A. That is correct. 15:18:33 13
Q. And you’re not a judge; is that correct? 15:18:36 14
A. I think since I’m not a lawyer, I can’t be a 15:18:38 15 j udge. I think you’re aware of that. 15:18: 42 16
Q. And so in terms of 15:18:45 17 My question is really more narrow, then. Is 15:18:49 18 the question about family history, though, something 15:18:52 19 that you would — that a mental health professional 15:18:55 20 would typically ask someone that they are evaluating? 15:19:02 21
A. In a 15:19:03 22 In a psychiatric situation one may ask it 15:19:09 23 because it may have treatment implications. In a 15:19:12 24 forensic evaluation it does not have significance. If 15:19:24 25 — In a treatment situation if you found that someone STIREWALT & ASSOCIATES 1-800-553-1953 [email protected] stirewalt.com Case 2018CV003122 Document 305 Scanned 10-15-2019 Page 95 of 114 95 1 — you know, both their parents had suffered major n 15:19:27 15:19:29 2 depressions or recurrence and their — two of their 15:19:32 3 siblings have and that they all responded to the same 15:19:36 4 antidepressant, that can be very useful information. 15:19:41 5 In a forensic case the issue is has this person been 15:19:47 6 depressed before, has — was this person depressed at 15:19:51 7 the time when the event occurred, and would this 15:19:55 8 person be depressed were — if this event hadn’t 15:20:00 9 occurred. It’s a different set it’s a different 15:20:02 10 evaluation, you’re looking for different things so 15:20:04 11 that not every question is the same. 15:20:10 12
Q. Did Mr. Pozner experience any — any 15:20:13 13 symptoms — any Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder 15:20:20 14 symptoms attributable — that you would attribute 15:20:23 15 exclusively to the event at massacre — at Sandy Hook, 15:20:28 16 the massacre that you described? 15:20:31 17
A. Well before the denial and harassments he 15:20:40 18 didn’t have symptoms because of the denial and 15:20:43 19 harassments. So — But after, the fact he is 15:20:51 20 continuing to have symptoms that meet the diagnosis is 15:20:54 21 a result of the actions of Dr. Fetzer and the 15:21:00 22 subsequent events. 15:21:03 23
Q. Specifically what — what stands out in your 15:21:06 24 mind in terms of the lingering complaints or symptoms 15:21:13 25 that Mr. Pozner complains of? STIREWALT & ASSOCIATES 1-800-553-1953 [email protected] Case 2018CV003122 Document 305 Scanned 10-15-2019 Page 96 of 114 96 15:21:16 1
A. All of them. As I said before, it’s r> 15:21:22 2 established that secondary stress and support are as 15:21:28 3 important usually as the initiating event in whether 15:21:32 4 someone continues to have symptoms. And so I would 15:21:38 5 have expected his symptoms to largely go away, I would 15:21:44 6 have expected him to be as social as he had been 15:21:46 7 beforehand, I would have expected him to — to become 15:21:50 8 patient again, to be able to concentrate again, and to 15:21:55 9 be able to be close to people and to be able to — to 15:22:01 10 not be on edge when he goes out and avoiding going out 15:22:06 11 and around. I would have expected all of those to 15:22:10 12 have none of those to be there if it were not for n 15:22:14 13 the actions of Dr. Fetzer and what followed. 15:22:19 14
Q. And the existence of these the existence 15:22:25 15 and the — of these symptoms, though, is not anything 15:22:27 16 that you have verified or confirmed otherwise than 15:22:32 17 through what Mr. Pozner has told you; is that correct? 15:22:38 18
A. The way he has told me, the way — the way 15:22:45 19 it fits known patterns of symptoms, the fact that he 15:22:52 20 denied various symptoms that I would have expected 15:22:54 21 someone who was malingering to — to claim that they 15:22:59 22 had, I picked up on no sign of exaggeration. So those 15:23:11 23 are the ways that a forensic psychiatrist assesses. I o 15:23:18 24 have not hired a private investigator to go out and 15:23:21 25 see if there’s evidence that that he doesn’t actually have the symptoms that he has. n 15:23:33 2
Q. Did you consider any non-defamatory — When 15:23:38 3 I say “non-defamatory,” do you know what that means. 15:23:42 4 at least in this particular case? 15:23:44 5 MS. STEDMAN: Objection, calls for a legal 15:23:45 6 conclusion. 15:23:50 7
Q. Let me ask: Do you know specifically what 15:23:55 8 the statements are that are at issue in this 15:23:57 9 particular lawsuit? 15:24:03 10
A. A very significant one is — to Mr. Pozner 15:24:07 11 is the denial of the death certificate, denying at one 15:24:15 12 point that he didn’t even have a son, which he saw as n 15:24:21 13 eras — sort of erasing his son from existence, that 15:24:27 14 he perpetrated this fraud. 15:24:31 15
Q. Did you consider whether or not more general 15:24:36 16 statements that Sandy Hook did not occur, did you — 15:24:40 17 did you consider whether or not such statements had 15:24:45 18 any effect on causing injury to Mr. Pozner? 15:24:51 19
A. Well I think the denial of the event is part 15:24:57 20 of denial. I can’t — I think that’s part of it. You 15:25:04 21 know, denying that it occurred is then saying that 15:25:10 22 he’s part of concocting this hoax on the — and fraud 15:25:15 23 on the American people. And it’s like, then where is r> 15:25:21 24 his son? Did he never have a son, then, since Sandy 15:25:25 25 Hook never occurred? It’s…
Q. Do you know whether there are denials of n 15:25:34 2 Sandy Hook that are out there on the internet or 15:25:39 3 elsewhere that are — that are not defamatory? 15:25:44 4
A. I do not — I do not know what you… 15:25:51 5 I don’t understand the question. I mean, 15:25:53 6 could you give me an example of a denial that you 15:25:55 7 would see as non-defamatory? 15:26:00 8
Q. Well, for instance, would you — would you 15:26:02 9 consider a statement that Sandy Hook was a — was a 15:26:12 10 was a FEMA exercise, would you consider that to be a 15:26:17 11 denial that would contribute to Mr. Pozner’s 15:26:21 12 condition? r> 15:26:25 13
A. I think all denials would bring some stress. 15:26:35 14 but and I think all those denials will be much more 15:26:39 15 painful once an individual has been singled out as a 15:26:48 16 major player in the — in creating what Dr. Fetzer 15:26:54 17 thinks is a fraud. 15:27:02 18
Q. How did Alex Jones come up in your — in 15:27:05 19 your discussion with Mr. Pozner yesterday? 15:27:09 20
A. I don’t I don’t recall 15:27:10 21 MS. STEDMAN: Objection, asked and 15:27:11 22 answered. 15:27:15 23
A. I don’t recall the specific — I don’t o 15:27:20 24 recall any more than what I said before, that – 15:27:24 25
Q. Okay. STIREWALT & ASSOCIATES 1-800-553-1953 infoSstirewalt.com Case 2018CV003122 Document 305 Scanned 10-15-2019 Page 99 of 114 99 15:27:24 1
A. I was told that Dr. Fetzer is o 15:27:27 2 particularly important in creating da — material, and 15:27:35 3 that Mr. Jones is particularly important in 15:27:40 4 propagating it. The degree to which Mr. Jones creates 15:27:43 5 it, I do not know. 15:27:46 6 Q. Is there any specific test that you’re aware 15:27:50 7 of to diagnose PTSD? 15:27:56 8
A. Seeing if the person fits the DSM criteria. 15:28:01 9
Q. But there’s not there’s no there’s no 15:28:06 10 — there’s no physical testing, for instance, there’s 15:28:08 11 no Is that correct? 15:28:10 12
A. Well — Okay. There — Some people think 15:28:14 13 that you can look at, you know, skin conductance and 15:28:19 14 that may say something about the hyper-reactivity 15:28:24 15 symptoms, but that’s — it’s I’ve never seen it 15:28:30 16 used clinically, it’s research, and that’s just one 15:28:32 17 set of symptoms. It doesn’t say anything about, you 15:28:37 18 know, the other symptoms. The diagnosis — 15:28:41 19
Q. And there’s no there’s no 15:28:43 20 I’m sorry. Go ahead. 15:28:43 21
A. The diagnosis is made based on the symptoms. 15:28:49 22 There is no test that 15:28:51 23
Q. And there’s no r> 15:28:51 24
A. There’s no test that can be done that I have 15:28:54 25 any awareness of that could reliably say this person STIREWALT & ASSOCIATES 1-800-553-1953 [email protected] stirewait.com Case 2018CV003122 Document 305 Scanned 10-15-2019 Page 100 of 114 100 15:28:58 1 has it, this person doesn’t have it. I’ve seen it 15:29:00 2 alleged by one particular person who was pushing his 15:29:03 3 research, but I it’ s I don’t think it’s — gives 15:29:12 4 reliable evidence of — you can’t diagnose PTSD with 15:29:18 5 it or without it. 15:29:27 6
Q. Is the book that you’re working on regarding 15:29:29 7 forensics forensic evaluations 15:29:31 8
A. I didn’t say the book was on forensic 15:29:32 9 evaluations. It’s not. 15:29:34 10
Q. I’m sorry. Pardon me? 15:29:34 11
A. It’s not on forensic evaluations. 15:29:37 12
Q. Oh, I’m sorry. Are you — 15:29:39 13 Are you presently working on a book? 15:29:41 14
A. It’s on emotional intelligence. 15:29:46 15
Q. And I may have misunderstood. 15:29:48 16 Have you written a book or written on 15:29:51 17 forensics evaluations? 15:29:53 18
A. Yes . I published — It was a chapter — I 15:29:56 19 was first author on a chapter in — I think it was 15:30:01 20 I think it was Child and Adolescent Clinics of North 15:30:04 21 America on the forensic evaluation of PTSD, and other 15:30:09 22 chapters on PTSD, and also in eMedicine, a chapter on 15:30:13 23 PTSD in adults. 15:30:18 24
Q. And then I 15:30:20 25 Are you aware that at least in some areas. for instance in worker comp area and in VA disability n 15 : 30:25 15:30:29 2 context. that at least there’s some concern that false 15:30:34 3 PTSD claims are being made? 15:30:36 4 MS. STEDMAN: Objection, calls for 15:30:38 5 speculation and a legal conclusion. 15:30:43 6
A. There is no question in my mind that there 15:30:46 7 are false claims at times. I mean I had said earlier 15:30:48 8 that there were cases which law — which plaintiff 15:30:51 9 lawyers brought to me and I said, I think the person 15:30:53 10 is malingering. 15:31:01 11 MR. BOLTON: Doctor, thank you very much. 15:31:02 12 I have no other questions for you at this time. 15:31:05 13 THE WITNESS: Thank you, counselor. 15:31:06 14 MS. STEDMAN: I will have a few questions. 15:31:08 15 Rich. I’ll need a couple minutes. Let’ s Is a 15:31:12 16 10-minute break okay for everyone? 15:31:16 17 THE REPORTER: Certainly for me. 15:31:17 18 MR. BOLTON: That’s fine. That’s fine. 15:31:20 19 You know what, I need to — and I apologize. I need 15:31:23 20 to make a quick reconnect with my family, let them 15:31:27 21 know what my schedule is. Can we maybe make it 13 15:31:30 22 minutes? 15:31:30 23 MS. STEDMAN: Great. I’m actually going to n 15:31:32 24 hang up from the conference line and I’ll know we’re 15:31:35 25 ready when you rejoin. MR. BOLTON: I’m sorry. Say that again. n 15 : 31:40 2 What should I do? 15:31:41 3 MS. STEDMAN: Just hang up, and then rejoin 15:31:43 4 the conference line when you’re ready. 15:31:45 5 MR. BOLTON: Oh, okay. I got it. Just 15:31:47 6 call back in then. 15:31:59 7 THE REPORTER: Off the record. 15:32:00 8 (Recess taken from 3:32 to 3:58 p.m.) 15:32:00 9 REDIRECT EXAMINATION 15:32:00 10 BY MS. STEDMAN: 15:58:54 11
Q. Dr. Lubit, you’ve provided a lot of 15:58:56 12 testimony today. Can you, for the jury, give your 15:59:00 13 opinion in this case as succinctly as possible? 15:59:04 14
A. Yes . 15:59:07 15 The massacre, the tragedy that occurred at 15:59:10 16 the school, the death of Mr. Pozner’s child, you know. 15:59:17 17 certainly caused him symptoms, caused him to have 15:59:21 18 PTSD, but he was doing significantly better after a 15:59:26 19 year, 15, 16 months, and then went downhill because of 15:59:33 20 the events/the actions of Dr. Fetzer and the aftermath 15:59:38 21 of things that followed from his behavior. And it 15:59:42 22 makes sense clinically, it fits with how we understand 15:59:46 23 human behavior interactions; the invalidation, denial. 15:59:51 24 the turning someone to attacking them publicly is — 15:59:56 25 is very serious stress. The other is that he was also threatened by n 16:00:04 2 those actions that now there was a death threat, which 16:00:07 3 is sufficient to cause PTSD de novo, from scratch. 16:00:12 4 He’s concerned about the safety of his children. 16:00:14 5 understandably. You lose one child and all of a 16:00:17 6 sudden people are making threats and trying to find 16:00:19 7 out where you live. This is very scary. So that also 16:00:23 8 can cause it. 16:00:25 9 Can I say how much of his current symptoms 16:00:28 10 are because of the stress preventing him from healing 16:00:35 11 from the initial PTSD and making it worse, versus the 16:00:39 12 threat that was created by this material being online O 16:00:44 13 and him being threatened? I can’t say how much from 16:00:49 14 each of those two, but both of those are the result of 16:00:55 15 the actions of Dr. Fetzer and the things that 16:01:00 16 followed, and he would not had it not been for Dr. 16:01:03 17 Fetzer’s actions and what followed. I can say to a 16:01:06 18 reasonable degree of medical certainty that he would 16:01:09 19 have recovered as much as a parent ever does. He 16:01:11 20 would not come close to making PTSD criteria, he’d be 16:01:14 21 basically functioning. And that’s what really counts 16:01:18 22 in forensic psychiatry, not the specific diagnosis. 16:01:22 23 but the impact on the person, and that the things he 16:01:26 24 said, the way he described it all support that he is 16:01:31 25 giving a fairly accurate conclusion. It’s for the jury to decide — if there are medical records, the n 16:01:39 2 jury should hear what they say, and if there’s a 16:01:41 3 drastic contradiction between what the record says and 16:01:44 4 what he says, that’s important. But that’s for the 16:01:46 5 jury to decide, it doesn’t change — I know that my 16:01:50 6 information is the latest because I spoke to him the 16:01:53 7 day before this taping, and — and I do a — probably 16:01:59 8 a much more thorough evaluation than a therapist 16:02:02 9 would. Therapists who do evaluations for PTSD 16:02:06 10 generally don’t do very thorough evaluations because 16:02:10 li treatment is different than an evaluation for legal 16:02:12 12 purposes. 16:02:16 13
Q. Does mutual contact between Mr. Pozner and 16:02:22 14 Dr. Fetzer change your opinion in any way? 16:02:25 15
A. No. The avoidance issue is 16:02:34 16 You do not need to avoid everything that 16:02:36 17 could possibly be a reminder. I don’t recall ever 16:02:38 18 seeing anyone who avoided all aspects. If If that 16:02:46 19 was required, then no one would have PTSD, would fill 16:02:50 20 the fulfill the criteria. For example, any parent 16:02:53 21 that goes to the — to the cemetery where their child 16:03:00 22 is buried, you couldn’t diagnose them with PTSD 16:03:04 23 because they’re not avoiding the cemetery. 24 There are a number of people who have become o 16:03:09 16:03:14 25 involved in causes, mothers for drunk drivers, people who’ve lost children in Parkland, a number of whom n 16:03:24 2 I’ve spoken to, as well as other parents in Newtown, 16:03:28 3 they’ve become advocates for gun control. I do not 16:03:34 4 think it’s accurate to say these people can’t have 16:03:36 5 PTSD because they’re doing something that reminds them 16:03:41 6 of it. It’s — It’s a complex thing. There needs to 16:03:48 7 be some avoidance, but people go on causes. I mean 16:03:54 8 mothers for drunk drivers, I can’t imagine, you know. 16:03:57 9 a mother who decides to campaign to keep — so it 16:04:01 10 doesn’t happen to another family, so other people 16:04:04 11 don’t lose children. I don’t think we can say this 16:04:06 12 person cannot possibly have PTSD because they are D 16:04:10 13 choosing to campaign to — to prevent it from 16:04:14 14 happening to others. And that’s where I see with Mr. 16:04:20 15 Pozner that this — his work to try to stop this is a 16:04:26 16 way he can organize himself, but he avoids, when he 16:04:29 17 can. But his work at this point is to try to stop 16:04:37 18 this from happening to others, and it’s a way of 16:04:41 19 organizing oneself, it’s a way of keeping one’s child 16:04:48 20 — I can’t say keeping one’s child alive. It’s giving 16:04:51 21 his child’s life meaning. For his child to be erased 16:04:55 22 from history by — and this is sort of the term that I 16:05:00 23 hear, for him to be erased from history to like not n 16:05:05 24 have existed, that is very painful to Mr. Pozner, and 16:05:10 25 this is what he felt was being done by Dr. Fetzer. And he is, in certain ways, keeping his son alive. rN 16:05:22 2 Giving his son’s life and death meaning by helping 16:05:26 3 others does not negate PTSD, it is a it is a it 16:05:35 4 is a sign of just how significant and overwhelming it 16:05:40 5 was. If he was not deeply affected, he wouldn’t be 16:05:44 6 fighting against the type of things Dr. Fetzer is 16:05:47 7 doing. If he wasn’t deeply affected by that, maybe 16:05:50 8 he’d argue for gun control. But he’s fighting against 16:05:54 9 what Dr. Fetzer is doing because that’s where he sees 16:05:58 10 16:05:58 11 MR. BOLTON: Objection, narrative. 16:06:06 12 THE WITNESS: I don’t know what to do with o 16:06:07 13 the objection. 16:06:08 14 MS. STEDMAN: You may continue to answer. 16:06:10 15 THE WITNESS: Okay. 16:06:11 16
A. I believe that his and we’ve discussed 16:06:14 17 this. I’ve discussed this specifically with Dr. 16:06:17 18 with Mr. Pozner, that this is means that his son is 16:06:24 19 not being erased, that his son has meaning, and that 16:06:27 20 it’s not all in vain. And that does not mean the 16:06:31 21 person isn’t suffering from the loss of their child. 16:06:34 22 it indicates a focus on this issue, and that this 16:06:39 23 issue has been very painful to them and they think r> 16:06:42 24 it’s something that desperately needs to change. And 16:06:46 25 some of the parents are working on gun control, he’s working on the wrong that he sees Dr. Fetzer doing. A 16:06:54 2 and that shows that this is something that he sees as 16:06:59 3 very destructive, and very destructive because it 16:07:02 4 caused him so much pain and causes him so much pain. 16:07:05 5 and his way to deal is to fight against it. 16:07:08 6 MR. BOLTON: Objection, narrative and 16:07:11 7 redundant. 16:07:29 8
Q. Is 16:07:29 9 Is the DSM-5 a reliable source? 16:07:35 10
A. It is the 16:07:37 11 Yes . I mean, it is the diagnostic criteria, 16:07:40 12 and it also has, you know, statements and information 16:07:44 13 about the different diagnostic criterias. But once 16:07:48 14 again it is absolutely clear that it is not a 16:07:53 15 constraint on forensic psychiatry, that our task is to 16:07:58 16 look at the harm that’s done, not what diagnos — what 16:08:03 17 the diagnosis is. It’s the symptoms and how that 16:08:05 18 affects the particular person, and not and not what 16:08:15 19 diagnosis. 16:08:16 20 One other thing — I’d like to throw in one 16:08:20 21 last thing about the avoidance. I mentioned I believe 16:08:23 22 a woman who had a car accident and was avoiding a 16:08:26 23 specific exit. I was on the defense in that case, on 16:08:29 24 the defense side, and I said she had PTSD. I said 16:08:33 25 that, you know, she avoids this exit, that’s STIREWALT & ASSOCIATES 1-800-553-1953 [email protected] stirewait.com Case 2018CV003122 Document 305 Scanned 10-15-2019 Page 108 of 114 108 16:08:38 1 avoidance. Someone I mean I — by the — if it was 16:08:44 2 to — had to be total avoidance I’d say, hey, she 16:08:47 3 cars have to be a reminder, she was in a terrible car 16:08:50 4 accident, it just happened to be by this exit, but 16:08:54 5 she’s willing to get in a car. She doesn’t like 16:08:56 6 getting in her car — 16:08:58 7 MR. BOLTON: Objection, narrative and 16:08:59 8 cumulative. 16:09:01 9 MS. STEDMAN: I would direct you to just 16:09:02 10 answer the question that was asked. 16:09:04 11 THE WITNESS: Okay. 16:09:05 12
A. That it 16:09:06 13 So even though I was on the other side I 16:09:08 14 said, this is sufficient. This avoidance, which is a 16:09:12 15 lot less than the avoidance of Mr. Pozner, which is 16:09:17 16 avoiding his — the town they lived in. She’ s 16:09:22 17 avoiding the exit. And I felt, though I was on the 16:09:25 18 defense side of the case, that this is sufficient 16:09:27 avoidance to diagnose PTSD.19 And the fact that she 16:09:32 20 drives a car does not mean she doesn’t have PTSD after 16:09:34 21 this bad accident. 16:09:37 22 MR. BOLTON: Objection, narrative and 16:09:38 23 cumulative. 16:09:42 24 MS. STEDMAN: Objection — Objection noted. 16:09:50 25
Q. Is the DSM-5 a How do forensic psychiatrists use the DSM-5 Cs 16:09:59 2 in evaluating patients or people within a legal case 16:10:07 3 for PTSD? 16:10:09 4
A. Let me just start by saying the people we 16:10:12 5 evaluate are not our patients, 16:10:13 6 Q- Correct. 16:10:14 7
A. — they’re people we’re evaluating. 16:10:18 8 And we’re generally asked if the person 16:10:20 9 meets the diagnostic criteria, and so we answer that 16:10:25 10 question. But again, it — the crucial issue is the 16:10:30 11 amount of symptoms, because you can have a very 16:10:34 12 varying amount of PTSD; you can have, depending upon 16:10:39 13 the symptoms, how the symptoms interact with the 16:10:42 14 individual’s life, it can be, you know, a huge issue 16:10:48 15 or not a big issue. 16:10:51 16 If someone avoids cars, let’s say, entirely 16:10:54 17 because of a car accident, if that person lives in a 16:10:58 18 city and doesn’t need — and doesn’t use cars, uses 16:11:01 19 the subway and walks, it’s much less of a problem than 16:11:05 20 for someone who lives in a house and their there’s 16:11:09 21 no work within five miles and their job is 20 miles 16:11:13 22 away. that person’s — and they have to get — and 16:11:17 23 they have to drive their kids to school in the n 16:11:20 24 morning. It has tremendous 16:11:20 25 MR. BOLTON: Objection; nonresponsive. narrative and cumulative.
Q. Again the question is: How do forensic analysts use the DSM-5 when evaluating —
A. We’re asked
Q. — plaintiffs or defendants, parties to 16:11:35 6 litigation? 16:11:35 7
A. We’re asked about diagnoses, we use it to 16:11:38 8 see if it fits the diagnoses. The other is that the 16:11:41 9 diagnoses are known patterns, and if a set of symptoms 16:11:45 10 meets a known pattern, that’s evidence – that 16:11:52 11 increases the credibility a bit. More seriously. 16:11:56 12 though, if it doesn’t meet a known pattern that makes rs 16:11:58 13 you start wondering about the symptoms very seriously.
Q. And is it your opinion in this case that Mr. Pozner meets the DSM-5 criteria for PTSD?
Q. Do you hold that — MR. BOLTON: Objection, leading.
Q. Do you hold that opinion to a reasonable degree of medical certainty?
A. To a reasonable degree of medical certainty Mr. Pozner has chronic PTSD and will continue to have the symptoms indefinitely very likely for the rest of his life. They may ease somewhat, but he’s likely to have them to a significant degree impairing his STIREWALT & ASSOCIATES 1-800-553-1953 [email protected] stirewait.com Case 2018CV003122 Document 305 Scanned 10-15-2019 Page 111 of 114 111 1 function for the rest of his life. rs 1 MS. STEDMAN: Thank you. I have no further questions. MR. BOLTON: Just a couple of follow-up requests. RECROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR. BOLTON:
Q. Doctor, you’re not blaming Dr. Fetzer, though, for the original stressor, the Sandy Hook 16:13:01 10 event; are you? 16:13:03 11
A. I do not blame 16:13:04 12 Well that was a compound question and — or rs 16:13:08 13 you made a statement in there that’s not accurate. 16:13:11 14 because as I was saying earlier, there are two 16:13:16 15 stressors. The first stressor was the massacre, the 16:13:22 16 second stressor was people harassing him and — to the 16:13:27 17 point of someone threatening his life. And it is up 16:13:31 18 to — it is a legal issue for the Court and the jury 16:13:35 19 to decide to what extent he may be responsible for the 16:13:41 20 harassment and threats that followed his claiming that 16:13:49 21 Sandy Hook never occurred and that Mr. Pozner didn’t 16:13:54 22 didn’t have a son, or that his son didn’t die there 16:13:57 23 and that he was perpetrating a fraud on the American Cs 16:13:59 24 people. 16:14:05 25
Q. Doctor, during the — during the break between my cross-examination of you and the redirect. r\ 16:14:12 2 did you have an opportunity then to talk with counsel 16:14:14 3 for Mr. Pozner before before the redirect? 16:14:18 4
A. Yes, we did. 16:14:21 5
Q. And did you talk with Mr. Zimmerman as well? 16:14:24 6
A. No. 16:14:26 7
Q. Pardon me? 16:14:27 8
A. No, I did not. 16:14:29 9 Q. I didn’t hear you. I’m sorry, sir. 16:14:30 10
A. No, I did not. 16:14:33 11
Q. Okay. And — And during that interval, did 16:14:37 12 you — did you provide some information in terms of D 16:14:40 13 questions that would be useful to ask on redirect? 16:14:46 14
A. I said that the one thing that I — that I 16:14:50 15 thought that could be useful to ask me to say more 16:14:53 16 about avoidance. 16:15:01 17 MR. BOLTON: I have no further questions. 16:15:02 18 doctor. 16:15:03 19 THE WITNESS: Thank you. 16:15:05 20 MS. STEDMAN: I have no further questions 16:15:06 21 as well. 16:15:09 22 MR. BOLTON: Okay. Thank you. 16:15:10 23 Doctor, thank you very much for — for coming in today, and for your patience throughout. rs 16:15:13 24 16:15:16 25 THE WITNESS: My pleasure. STIREWALT & ASSOCIATES 1-800-553-1953 [email protected] stirewait.com Case 2018CV003122 Document 305 Scanned 10-15-2019 Page 113 of 114 113 16:15:20 1 Are we still on the air, or? 16:15:21 2 THE REPORTER: Off the record, please. 16:15:34 3 (Deposition concluded at 4:15 p.m.) 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 114 of 114 114 1 CERTIFICATE n 2 I, Debby J. Campeau, hereby certify that I 3 am qualified as a verbatim shorthand reporter; that I 4 took in stenographic shorthand the testimony of DR. 5 ROY LUBIT at the time and place aforesaid; and that 6 the foregoing transcript consisting of 113 pages is a 7 true and correct, full and complete transcription of 8 said shorthand notes, to the best of my ability. 9 Dated at Lino Lakes, Minnesota, this 7th 10 day of October, 2019.