First Department Affirms Lower Court Decision Granting Defendants’ Motion to Compel Unrestricted Authorizations Relating to Plaintiff’s Prior Accidents and Treatment

In a decision dated May 20, 2023, the Appellate Division, First Department affirmed a lower court decision granting the motion of our clients J.T. Magen & Company Inc. Nordstrom, Inc. Broadway 57th/58th Retail Investor, LLC, 1790 Broadway Associates LLC and ULM I Holding Corp. to compel the plaintiff to provide certain discovery. The plaintiff, a union sheet metal worker, alleged that he injured multiple body parts at work when he was struck by falling ductwork. Through investigation, we learned that he had been involved in a prior workplace accident and a motor vehicle accident and had undergone multiple surgeries. We filed a motion to compel the plaintiff to provide unrestricted authorizations for the defendants to obtain records relating to his prior accidents and treatment. The First Department unanimously affirmed the lower Court’s Order granting our motion based on a finding that the plaintiff had affirmatively placed his prior accidents and treatment in issue by commencing this lawsuit. While the plaintiff did not claim to have reinjured any of the same body parts, he did make general allegations regarding claimed restrictions on certain activities of daily living. The First Department agreed that records pertaining to the prior accidents and treatment were discoverable as the defendants were entitled to explore whether the claimed restrictions and limitations could have been caused by any of the prior accidents or treatment.

Carlos Villanueva v. J.T. Magen & Company Inc. et al., 2023 WL 3696458, —N.Y.S.3d— (Sup. Ct. Kings Co., May 4, 2023)

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This post was written by Sander Rothchild