The Second Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined certain discovery requests made by plaintiff in a medical malpractice action should not have been denied. Plaintiff alleged defendant surgeon’s (Panos’) and defendant hospital’s (Vassar’s) negligence were related to the unprecedented number of surgeries performed by defendant surgeon. Plaintiff sought all the records re: surgeries performed by defendant surgeon on the days plaintiff was operated on. The Second Department held that those records, with non-party names redacted, should be turned over but should not be disclosed beyond the parties and experts. With respect to requests for disclosure of complaints against defendant surgeon, the Second Department held that the documents should be turned over for in camera review to see if they are immune from discovery under the Public Health Law (quality assurance immunity):
Under the circumstances of this case, the Supreme Court should have granted that branch of the plaintiff’s motion which was, in effect, to compel Vassar to produce intraoperative records pertaining to all surgical procedures performed by Panos on any nonparty patients on the three dates that he performed surgery on the plaintiff, reflecting every medical procedure performed during those surgical procedures, and should have denied that branch of Vassar’s cross motion which was for a protective order striking the plaintiff’s demand for those records … .
… [T]he plaintiff demanded that Vassar produce copies of any written complaints made to Vassar regarding Panos and any written responses thereto. Contrary to Vassar’s contention, these demands specified the documents to be disclosed with reasonable particularity (see CPLR 3120…). Vassar further contends that these documents are immune from discovery pursuant to the quality assurance privilege (see Education Law § 6527, Public Health Law § 2805-m…). “Records generated at the behest of a quality assurance committee for quality assurance purposes . . . should be privileged, whereas records simply duplicated by the committee are not necessarily privileged” … . Since it is impossible on this record to determine whether the subject documents were generated at the behest of a quality assurance committee for quality assurance purposes, we remit the matter for an in camera inspection of the documents requested … . Gabriels v Vassar Bros. Hosp., 2016 NY Slip Op 00478, 2nd Dept 1-27-16
CONVERSION (CAUSE OF ACTION TIME-BARRED)/REPLEVIN (CAUSE OF ACTION TIME-BARRED)/UNJUST ENRICHMENT (CAUSE OF ACTION TIME-BARRED)/CIVIL PROCEDURE (CONVERSION, REPLEVIN AND UNJUST ENRICHMENT CAUSES OF ACTION TIME-BARRED)