Paul M. da Costa Quoted in NJLJ Article, “Appeals Court: Defendant Hospitals Must Allow Plaintiff to Inspect Medical Records’ Metadata.”

Apr 19, 2023

As published in the New Jersey Law Journal
April 19, 2023
By Colleen Murphy

“Plaintiff’s request to have her expert review decedent’s EMR, on screen and under defendants’ supervision and control, in order to identify what metadata she wants copied and produced, strikes us as an eminently reasonable way to proceed under the circumstances,” stated Judge Carmen Messano, in his written opinion for the court.

In a published opinion, the New Jersey Appellate Division concluded that the plaintiff in a medical malpractice claim is entitled to access the metadata in a decedent’s electronic medical record and that the defendants failed to demonstrate that the discovery request was burdensome.

“My client and I are extremely satisfied with the very thoughtful and thorough decision,” said Paul M. da Costa, counsel to Lasiw and a partner with Snyder Sarno. “This is a precedential case in the medical malpractice bar and it fills a void that has existed for many years now since electronic medical records became ubiquitous in the health care industry.

“I am happy that the Appellate Division emphasized that our rules of court and discovery practices to unequivocally allow plaintiffs in medical malpractice cases to have access to the electronic medical record since, as the court emphasized, the record is unquestionably relevant,” said da Costa. ”The right to inspect a client’s electronic medical record is actually a less burdensome tool of discovery and I am glad that the Appellate Division concluded that it is the eminently reasonable way to proceed.”