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Discovery is Essential

Recently, McKeen & Associates posted a blog regarding the importance of defendants’ participation in pretrial discovery depositions, regardless of their admission of liability. McKeen & Associations recently obtained another trial court decision thwarting the Defendant physicians’ efforts to avoid having to testify in pretrial discovery depositions, which is a common, and frankly essential, part of the pretrial preparation process.

The physicians sought a protective order from the court to bar us from taking their depositions suggesting that it would only serve to “annoy, embarrass, and unduly burden” the physicians, ignoring the rights of the parents and ultimately the jury to learn what had really happened during the care of the infant in the neonatal unit at Beaumont Hospital, including the degree of suffering that the baby had endured before her tragic death.

Multiple errors in care have been alleged and documented in the chart let led to the untimely and unnecessary injury and death of this infant, including improper usage of standard piece of equipment to help re-inflate her collapsed lung, (which is not a fatal condition in itself).  A guide wire was inserted backward, exposing a sharp end, rather than the correct, smoother end.  This led to puncture and laceration and difficulty in placing the chest tube that would have remedied the situation, if done right.

Rather than deferring to the potential “embarrassment” “annoyance” or “burden” the testimony might present for the physicians, the decision allows for a full and reasonable exploration and discovery of the real circumstances leafing to the infant’s death, which is certainly painful for the parents to revisit, but essential for full and competent preparation of their case for trial.

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