Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Pennsylvania Superior Court Addresses Waiver of Psychologist-Patient Privilege Relative to Subpoena For Plaintiff's Mental Health Records [Non-Precedential]

In the case of Boyle v. Mainline Health, Inc., No. 728 EDA 2021 (Pa. Super. Jan. 10, 2022 McCaffery, J., Panella, P.J., DuBow, J.) (Op. by McCaffery, J.) (DuBow, J. dissenting)[Non-Precedential], the Pennsylvania Superior Court reversed a lower court's Order striking the Plaintiff's objections to certain subpoenas the Defendant served in an effort to secure mental health records on the Plaintiff in an alleged birth injury medical malpractice case.

The court found that the psychologist-patient privilege is not waived by a Plaintiff making general allegations of emotional pain and suffering, upset, and mental distress as opposed to making specific claims for specific mental diagnoses.

The Court found that, in order for there to be a waiver of the privilege, allegations of recognized mental conditions such as anxiety, mental injury, severe emotional trauma requiring treatment are required.

The court additionally confirms that the assertion of claim for loss of consortium, in and of itself, does not result in a waiver of the psychiatric privilege.

Anyone wishing to review a copy of this decision may click this LINK.  The Dissenting Opinion by Judge Dubow can be viewed HERE.

I send thanks to Attorney James M. Beck of the Philadelphia office of the Reed Smith law firm for bringing this case to my attention.

Source of image:  Photo by Mark Williams on www.unsplash.com.

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