Defendants in medical malpractice cases often seek extensive information regarding the plaintiff’s medical history. Plaintiffs may find these requests intrusive. New York medical malpractice attorneys know that, although courts often allow defendants wide latitude in accessing a plaintiff’s records, plaintiffs may sometimes obtain a protective order to prevent defendants from accessing certain records. A New York court may issue a protective order to deny, limit, condition, or regulate any “disclosure device” “to prevent unreasonable annoyance, expense, embarrassment, disadvantage, or other prejudice…” CPLR § 3103.
A New York court recently heard a plaintiff’s motion for a protective order. The plaintiff filed a medical malpractice action following a cataract extraction with an intra-ocular lens implant for each of his eyes. The plaintiff claimed damages for past and future lost earnings.
In his deposition, the plaintiff testified regarding a cardiac condition and certain coronary procedures he had received. The defendants served a demand for the plaintiff’s authorization for the defendants to obtain records from the plaintiff’s treating cardiologist, ophthalmologist, optometrist, and a hospital. The defendants subsequently moved to compel the authorizations. The plaintiff was subsequently ordered to produce the items of discovery in the defendant’s motion, except certain financial records.