Clinician Allegedly Destroyed Records in Anticipation of a Lawsuit, $1.2M in Punitive Damages Awarded
November 12, 2018 | Strategic Insights for Ambulatory Care
A New York appellate court upheld a $1.2 million verdict against a clinician who allegedly destroyed records about a deceased pediatric patient after she received a letter from an attorney hired by child's father, states a report from Zarin's Medical Liability Alert (subscription required). A non-party pediatrician recommended that the child visit a pediatric endocrinologist because of her high blood sugar level. At one visit, the patient said she did not feel well. That night, she vomited and complained of a stomach ache. The next day, after the child's parents tried unsuccessfully to see the endocrinologist, they brought the child to a hospital where she was admitted for several days until she died. An autopsy concluded that the death was "attributable to bilateral cerebellar tonsillar herniation secondary to a cerebral edema following diabetic ketoacidosis." The parents filed suit against the endocrinologist and other providers.