Monday, April 30, 2018

Spoliation Sanction Granted in Med Mal Case


In his recent decision in the case of Hughes v. Wilkes-Barre Hospital Company, No. 16-CV-6463 (C.P. Lacka. Co. April 18, 2018 Nealon, J.), Judge Terrence R. Nealon of the Lackawanna County Court of Common Pleas addressed a Motion In Limine seeking to impose spoliation sanctions against the Defendant healthcare providers in an effort to secure an adverse inference instruction based upon the alleged failure of one of the Defendant doctors to collect an umbilical cord blood gas sample at the time of the birth of the child in this obstetrical medical malpractice claim.  

After review the record before the court and comparing the same to the current status of Pennsylvania law pertaining to sanctions for alleged spoliation of evidence, the court ruled that the Plaintiffs were entitled to an adverse witness jury instruction that the Plaintiff’s counsel would be permitted to cross-examine the defense experts regarding the failure to collect the blood gas sample and its impact upon determining the timing and cause of the minor’s alleged brain injury.   The court denied the Plaintiff's request for greater sanctions as not warranted by the record before the court.
 
Anyone wishing to review this decision, may click this LINK.

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