Monday, October 26, 2015

Discovery and medical records in a personal injury action.

Practice point:  The Appellate Division modified the motion court's order denying defendants' motion to compel plaintiff to provide an unrestricted authorization for production of his entire employment file.  The Appellate Division granted the motion to the extent of requiring plaintiff to provide an authorization for any medical records related to the claimed injuries, from one year prior to the accident at issue to the present, and otherwise affirmed.

The Appellate Division explained that, as plaintiff failed to proffer any reason for not complying with the preliminary conference order directing him to provide a written authorization for release of the medical records, defendants' motion should be granted to the extent indicated.  However, the Appellate Division found that the motion court providently exercised its discretion in determining that discovery of other documents that may be contained in plaintiff's employment file, including disciplinary records, is not material and necessary to the defense of the action.

Student note:  By bringing this action to recover for personal injuries allegedly suffered in a motor vehicle accident, plaintiff placed his medical condition in controversy and waived the physician-patient privilege with respect to pertinent medical records.

Case:  Almonte v. Mancuso, NY Slip Op 07593 (1st Dept. 2015)

Here is the decision.

Tomorrow's issue:  An allegation of retaliation in violation of Executive Law § 296(1).