In medical malpractice matters, the plaintiff will typically rely, in part, on treatment records to show that the defendant failed to provide competent care. Thus, if a defendant fails to retain medical records, imaging, or other documents relating to the plaintiff’s care, it could adversely impact the plaintiff’s ability to establish fault. Further, as discussed in a recent New York opinion issued in a surgical malpractice case, in certain circumstances, the spoliation of evidence may be a basis for imposing sanctions. If you were injured by a negligently performed procedure, you could be owed compensation, and it is in your best interest to meet with a Rochester surgical malpractice lawyer about your potential claims.
The Plaintiff’s Harm
It is alleged that the plaintiff visited the defendant facility, where he was treated for swelling and pain in his left leg by the defendant doctors. The defendant doctors performed a venogram and diagnosed the plaintiff with deep vein thrombosis. He was admitted to the defendant hospital, where he was treated with numerous medications, including blood thinners and anticoagulants. During his admission, he suffered a brain hemorrhage which rendered him permanently paralyzed on the left side of his body.
It is reported that the plaintiff instituted a lawsuit against the defendants, asserting claims of medical malpractice and lack of informed consent. During discovery, he sought records from the defendants, including imaging from the venogram. The defendants responded they did not have the images and subsequently moved for summary judgment. The plaintiff filed a response in opposition to the motion in which he sought sanctions against the defendants for spoliation of evidence. The trial court granted the defendants’ motion and denied the plaintiff’s request for sanctions, and the plaintiff appealed. Continue reading