The Draft Kings lawsuit was one of the most talked about court cases in recent years. Michael Webster, the plaintiff, was attempting to obtain compensation for the emotional distress he had experienced after being diagnosed with terminal cancer.
As you might expect from a story such as this one, there were a number of people who opposed him receiving compensation, or even claiming compensation. The opposing attorneys were represented by an assortment of well-known personal injury attorneys including Johnnie B. Rivard and William L. Rosenfield. The two attorneys were widely regarded as “ambulance chasers” and “ambulance quacks.”
Draft Kings Lawsuit
Despite this reputation, Webster did receive compensation for his pain and suffering. But, in a rather amazing turn of events, this lawsuit resulted in the release of compromising medical records that had been hidden for over fifteen years by both the defendants and the opposing attorneys.
The discovery of these records changed the landscape of this case dramatically. This new evidence revealed a previously unknown link between the defendant’s company and prior instances in which workers had been injured while at work.
Webster ultimately settled for a very large settlement.
In addition to receiving monetary compensation, he was also required to submit to a mandatory background and drug screenings. Essentially, due to the nature of the medical records, which were concealed for so long, Webster was required to undergo these mandatory drug screenings. His lawyer further stated that the information obtained through these screenings would have allowed prosecutors to have more probable cause to file additional charges against the defendant in the first place.
While the details of this case are fascinating, it is important to note that this is not the only instance in which a victim of a medical negligence case was able to receive compensation due to the discovery of medical records.
As previously mentioned, Webster v. Rivard were not the only case in which valuable medical records were discovered. A similar case arose in Florida in which the Discovery of which resulted in a $1.75 million settlement. Despite the fact that both cases involved very different facts, the outcome of each was remarkably similar. The same judge in both cases ultimately ruled in favor of the plaintiffs.
During both incidents, the issue of medical records was never raised by either the defense or the plaintiffs.
The defense did not have any medical records on file to review, and the plaintiffs’ attorney never presented those records before the jury. At no time did either party to submit any medical records as evidence in the case. Even after a member of the jury was informed that one of the witnesses was actually a witness to an actual case, the court let the jurors to proceed with the case anyway. No discovery regarding the victims’ state of mind or medical condition ever surfaced either during the trial or afterwards.
A recent case illustrates the importance of keeping medical records confidential.
In that case, the plaintiff was a victim of battery subsequent to an accident. The court found that her lawsuit was not properly founded because her doctor had failed to alert the patient to the potential risks of retaining him on a malpractice jury list. Medical records are absolutely necessary in such cases, and the importance of maintaining those records cannot be overstated.