Burton and Narendra secure Supreme Court win in medical malpractice discovery dispute

In Hammond v. Saini, __ N.C. ___, 766 S.E.2d 590 (2014), the North Carolina Supreme Court unanimously ruled in favor of Patterson Harkavy’s client, Plaintiff Judy Hammond.  Ms. Hammond suffered severe injuries from an operating room fire while undergoing surgery to remove a possible basal cell carcinoma from her face.  In her subsequent medical malpractice suit, the Defendants refused to produce certain documents addressing the fire and notes made by the hospital’s risk manager following the fire.  The trial court rejected the Defendants’ argument that these items were privileged and granted Ms. Hammond’s motion to compel discovery.  Burton Craige and Narendra Ghosh represented Ms. Hammond on Defendants’ appeal of that decision.

On September 3, 2013 a Court of Appeals panel published a unanimous opinion in favor of Ms. Hammond, affirming the order compelling production of the Defendants’ reports, and remanding the issue of whether the risk manager’s notes were protected by the Work Product Doctrine to the trial court.  The Defendants appealed that ruling to the North Carolina Supreme Court.

Today, the Supreme Court of North Carolina published a unanimous opinion affirming the Court of Appeals.   For more information about the case, read Burton and Narendra’s Supreme Court brief.