Sunday, October 23, 2011

Interesting Discovery Decision out of Clinton County in Case Involving Death of a Minor

Judge J. Michael Williamson of the Clinton County Court of Common Pleas recently issued an interesting discovery decision in the medical malpractice case of Gentile v. Timko, et al., No. 215 - 2010 Civil (C.P. Clinton Co. Sept. 30, 2011 Williamson, J.).

After thorough analysis, including a review of the discovery of prior mental health records case of Gormley v. Edgar, Judge Williamson decided that the parents’ mental health treatment records and employment records were discoverable in a stillbirth case in which the parents claimed damages for future lost earnings.  The court noted that, in cases involving the death of very young individuals, facts pertaining to the parents' background may prove relevant in establishing a proper evaluation of any loss of future earnings claim for the deceased child.

Accordingly, Judge Williamson’s detailed reasoning in this 39 page decision may well be applicable to any case involving a minor (whether or not deceased) in which there is a claim for future loss of earnings or future loss of earning capacity to allow for wider discovery on the background of the parents.

Anyone desiring a copy of this decision may contact me at dancummins@comcast.net.

Thanks to the prevailing Attorney Brian Bluth of the McCormick Law Firm in Williamsport, PA for bringing this case to my attention.

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