Second suit filed against therapist

"A local woman who claims that her former therapist, Oak Harbor psychologist Steven Talmadge, had a sexual relationship while counseling her in 1998 and 1999 is suing him in Island County Superior Court.The woman's attorney, Robert Zielke of the Everett-based firm Duce, Bastian, Peterson and Zielke, filed the complaint for injuries and damages arising from healthcare provider negligence on March 23.The woman joins her ex-husband with the suit. The Oak Harbor man filed a similar lawsuit for professional malpractice against Talmadge last summer. The woman and her ex-husband both saw Talmadge for therapy before their divorce.The Washington State Examining Board of Psychology released a statement of charges against Talmadge in relation to the same case a couple of months ago that alleges he had an improper sexual relationship with a patient.The charges against Talmadge include unprofessional conduct, multiple relationships, sexual misconduct, and improper maintenance and retention of records.According to the Examining Board of Psychology, a hearing for the charges has not been set. If the board members find him guilty of the charges, he could face sanctions or license revocation.Under the Psychology Practice Act, a psychologist cannot have sexual contact with a current patient or a former patient for two years after the end of therapy.In an answer to the man's lawsuit, Talmadge denied the allegations and filed a counterclaim against him for allegedly making an anonymous call to a school district that Talmadge worked for, causing him to lose the job.Talmadge could not be reached for comment.The man's lawsuit and the counterclaim were moved to Skagit County. Zielke said his client's lawsuit will likely be heard in Skagit County also."

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