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Broad Allegations of Injury Can Lead To Extensive Discovery

January 7, 2011

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In <i>DeLouise v. S.K.I Wholesale Beer Corp</i>., the Second Department supported the defendant’s entitlement to obtain medical records related to the plaintiff’s prior injuries. In reversing the lower court’s denial of the defendant’s motion to compel the plaintiff to provide authorizations for certain medical and hospital records relating to the plaintiff’s previous medical conditions/injuries, the Second Department emphasized that a party waives the “physician-patient privilege by affirmatively putting his or her physical or mental condition in issue." DeLouise had made broad allegations of physical injuries and mental anguish, thereby putting his prior injuries and medical condition at issue. In fact, the court noted that the prior injuries and conditions were “material and necessary to [the plaintiff’s] claims of having sustained a serious injury within the meaning of Insurance Law § 5102(d), as well as to any claim of loss of enjoyment of life.”
Thanks to Lora Gleicher for her contribution to this post.
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