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Personal Injury Defendants May Be Entitled To Additional Discovery When Plaintiffs Are Involved In Subsequent Accidents

July 1, 2022

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<p style="text-align: justify;">Recently, in <em><a href="https://www.wcmlaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/Lewis-v.-City-of-New-York.pdf">Lewis v. City of New York</a></em>, the New York Appellate Division, Second Department, ruled on a defendant’s motion to compel the plaintiff to appear for further deposition and medical examinations.  In this personal injury case which arose from a 2016 motor vehicle accident, Defendants moved to compel further discovery when they learned the plaintiff suffered additional injuries in a subsequent motor vehicle accident in August 2018.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">In reversing a trial court denial the Appellate Division, Second Department, reversed, explaining the subsequent accident “constituted unusual or unanticipated circumstances warranting additional discovery, including a further deposition and medical examination of the plaintiff.”</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">The court, however, affirmed the trial court’s denial of defendants’ motion to preclude plaintiff from offering evidence on the issue of damages at trial, pursuant to CPLR 3126. Such a remedy, the court elaborated, is “drastic,” and defendants failed to make a requisite showing that “the [opposing] party’s conduct is willful and contumacious.”</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">This case demonstrates the importance of promptly seeking all discovery (including medical) in a timely fashion once you are put on notice of later treatments or accidents.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">Thanks to Andrew Henriquez for his contribution to this post.  Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact <a href="mailto:tbracken@wcmlaw.com">Tom Bracken</a>.</p>

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