The Doctor Was the Problem, Patient Says

     CHICAGO (CN) - A clinical psychologist pressured a patient to make him his investment adviser, lost almost all of the patient's retirement savings, then spent therapy sessions making excuses for the enormous losses, the patient claims in court.
     David Phillips sued Donald Miro, Miro Financial Enterprises, and Claret Center in Cook County Court.
     Miro who began treating Phillips at Claret Center in March 2008. He also owns an investment advisory firm, Miro Financial Enterprises, according to the lawsuit.
     "Beginning in November of 2008, and continuing through at least April 2010, during the course of Miro's professional psychological treatment of Phillips, and specifically during counseling sessions, Miro abused his psychologist/patient relationship with Phillips by pressuring and soliciting Phillips to give Miro and Miro Financial Enterprises complete control and authority to invest Phillips' retirement savings," the complaint states.
     "The access to and control over Phillips retirement savings were not necessary, in any manner to the psychological services Miro was providing to Phillips."
     Phillips says he turned over complete control of his savings of $53,052 to Miro, who promised him a high rate of return.
     But Miro lost almost all of it.
     "Miro and Miro Financial Enterprises lost more than $49,000 of Phillips' retirement savings, charged and/or incurred thousands of dollars in fees and refused to follow Phillips' direction to cease trading immediately and return his retirement savings," according to the lawsuit.
     "Miro continued to pressure Phillips to leave his retirement savings under Miro and Miro Financial Enterprises' control and spent counseling sessions (at least through April 2010) trying to explain away dramatic financial losses rather than treating Phillips' psychological issues." (Parentheses in complaint.)
     Miro "personally guaranteed Phillips that if Phillips' account balance was dropped below $18,000, would personally guarantee the account balance at the $18,000 level," according to the complaint.
     But that was a lie, Phillips says: "Philips' entire retirement account was squandered by Miro."
     Phillips accuses the Claret Center of failing to adequately supervise Miro or run an employee background check.
     "As a consequence of Claret Center's failure to adequately investigate Miro's outside employment activities, Phillips received negligent treatment by Miro in that Miro was unable to maintain professional objectivity and treatment since his outside activities conflicted with his professional duties," Phillips says in the complaint.
     He seeks damages and punitive damages for medical malpractice, negligent supervision, and fraudulent misrepresentation.
     He is represented by William Boznos with Bellas & Wachowski, in Park Ridge.