Facts from the courtroom
May 13, 2022

Mira Krishnan’s unscientific neuropsychological review – What you need to know

On May 10-11, 2022, clinical psychologist Dr. Mira Krishnan took the stand. Dr. Krishnan was paid by plaintiffs’ counsel to complete a neuropsychological review of each of the four plaintiffs, which showed all the plaintiffs’ IQ, cognitive, and behavioral scores fell within the expected ranges for their respective ages and genders. Dr. Krishnan met each plaintiff one time, very briefly, in a law office rather than a medical setting in 2020. She has no baseline from which to compare each plaintiff’s cognitive and behavioral abilities before and after the crisis, and therefore no way to measure cognitive or behavioral changes for each of the plaintiffs from before and after the Flint Water Crisis.

Dr. Krishnan’s report also failed to consider other potential causes of mild behavioral or cognitive disorders, such as genetics and trauma. 

Here’s what you need to know.

Dr. Krishnan’s diagnoses of the plaintiffs are not uncommon within the general population and her opinions significantly underestimate each plaintiffs’ future potential. 

  • Dr. Krishnan’s diagnoses include one instance of mild ADHD, one instance of mild mood disorder, and two instances of mild neurocognitive disorder—an overly broad term that is not a generally accepted diagnosis within psychiatry. 
  • Dr. Krishnan relied only on anecdotal evidence from her experience with her own clinical patients, not any scientific data or literature, to reach the conclusion that the plaintiffs were at increased risk of not graduating high school or college or engaging only in unskilled vocations. 
  • Dr. Krishnan’s diagnoses are common in millions of children and, with the proper support, are not known to have a measurable impact on a child’s future potential.
  • One example of an exaggeration within Dr. Krishan’s report is her opinion that, as a result of mild ADHD, one of the plaintiffs will have limited opportunities in the future. However, to reach this opinion, she relies on a single scientific study of children with “severe” ADHD which is inconsistent with her finding of “mild” ADHD.

Dr. Krishnan did not review important background information when making her diagnoses. 

  • Dr. Krishnan overemphasized the subjective complaints of the parents and plaintiffs when reaching her conclusions.  
  • She failed to properly weigh the medical and educational records of the four plaintiffs, which show the plaintiffs’ alleged impairments have minimal-to-no impact on their studies and daily interactions. 
  • Dr. Krishnan also failed to appropriately weigh background information of plaintiffs’ parents and siblings.  

Dr. Krishnan has no baseline testing from which to compare her findings and therefore no way to measure cognitive or behavioral changes from before and after the Flint Water Crisis. 

  • Dr. Krishnan confirmed the plaintiffs had no medical treatment or diagnoses of any neuropsychological and cognitive issues prior to her examination of them. 
  • Since there was no prior testing, Dr. Krishnan had no baseline to use as a comparison when forming her conclusions. 
  • Dr. Krishnan has no way to know if plaintiffs’ diagnoses were or were not the result of lead in Flint’s water.
  • Given the prevalence of her diagnoses amongst the general population, it is highly possible plaintiffs developed these mild conditions in the course of normal development.