When New York residents are suffering the consequences of medical negligence or have lost loved ones as the result of such circumstances, they may find the idea of taking legal action overwhelming. Obtaining medical records from doctors and hospitals may seem an unachievable feat. However, with appropriate support and guidance, collecting the necessary evidence of medical malpractice may be possible.
However, it is sometimes alleged that medical records are destroyed to prevent the plaintiff’s legal counsel to inspect it. In 2014, a case of alleged spoliation of evidence was heard in a court in New York. The plaintiff claimed the negligence of a urologist caused the death of a person who was a patient of the defendant for 10 years. According to the lawsuit, the urologist allegedly failed to diagnose the condition that ultimately led to the patient’s death.
The plaintiff’s counsel sought the medical records relating to the treatment of the decedent between 1997 and 2007. However, the defendant apparently claimed that a flood in 2010 destroyed the medical records of those 10 years. The defense said that melting ice and snow caused severe damage to the basement that served as the storage area. However, the defense was unable to provide the court with proof of any insurance claims or repairs done to the basement that would indicate flood damage.
The court ultimately found for the plaintiff in the allegations of spoliation of evidence. The plaintiff in this case might not have been successful in the pursuit of financial relief in this lawsuit had it not been for the skills and persistence of the medical malpractice attorney. Any New York resident has the right to retain legal representation in seeking recovery of damages in civil lawsuits.
Source: urologytimes.modernmedicine.com, “How spoliation of evidence can cost you in court”, Brianne Goodwin, Nov. 1, 2016