It seems simple enough. If a plaintiff alleges that the defendant’s actions caused mental health issues, then the defendant should have access to plaintiff mental health records that predate the incident. After all, without such records, how can a baseline for damages be established? Surprisingly, achieving access to such records, has not been the norm in Pennsylvania. However, a new appellate decision bodes favorably for defendants.
In Gormley v. Edgar, the plaintiff was injured in an automobile accident. She alleged that the accident caused her mental injuries. However, when the defendant asked for relevant pre-accident records, she refused and objected to defendant’s subpoena. The trial court rejected the objections and authorized the disclosure. Plaintiff appealed. The Superior Court has now affirmed the trial court’s order. Applying common sense, it held that by putting her mental health at issue, the plaintiff had subjected herself to full disclosure. Common sense reigns supreme in the Commonwealth.
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