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Ben Glass
Ben Glass
Attorney • (703) 584-7277

Wrongful Death Beneficiaries Don't Waive Their Right To Privacy

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We represent the family of a mother whose death was allegedly caused by the medical malpractice of one of the major HMO-type healthcare providers in Northern Virginia, Washington and Maryland. That defendant sought to obtain by subpoena a lifetime of medical, scholastic and mental health records for the decedent’s 11 year-old son and 25 years of medical and mental health records for the decedent’s adult daughter. We opposed their request.

In Fairfax Circuit Court on Friday, we argued that these family members had not waived their right to privacy when the administrator of the estate filed the wrongful death lawsuit against the HMO.

The court called the defendant’s request a “fishing expedition” and denied all requests for the adult daughter’s medical and mental health records and limited discovery of the 11 year-old son’s records to those school records and counseling records from the date of his mother’s death until now.

Medical malpractice cases in Virginia are tough and defendants, backed by their very rich insurance companies, will stop at nothing to discourage and defeat victims of their carelessness.

By the way, in this case the HMO’s doctor suspected a blood clot and send our client’s mother to a radiologist for a study. The radiologist said, “danger, danger, danger, there’s a blood clot” and tried to contact the HMO. Being put on hold for too long (an all too common occurrence with this particular HMO, he hung up and faxed the report.

The HMO receptionist logged the report into the HMO’s great system, but no doctor saw it until after the patient died, from a blood clot, the next week.

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