senate Bill S600

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Establishes a penalty and cause of action for intentional destruction of medical records by a party to a medical malpractice action, or by an agent thereof

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Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor

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Actions

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jan 08, 2014 referred to judiciary
Jan 09, 2013 referred to judiciary

Co-Sponsors

S600 - Bill Details

Current Committee:
Law Section:
Civil Practice Law and Rules
Laws Affected:
Amd ยง3126, CPLR
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Sessions:
2011-2012: S2531
2009-2010: A5329, S6131

S600 - Bill Texts

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Establishes a penalty of not less than $1,000 for each intentional destruction, mutilation or significant alteration of a medical record by a party to a medical malpractice action, or by any officer, director, member, employee or agent of such party; also establishes a cause of action on behalf of any person injured as the result of such destruction, mutilation or significant alteration.

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BILL NUMBER:S600

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the civil practice law and rules, in relation to establishing a
penalty and cause of action for the intentional destruction, mutilation
or significant alteration of certain medical records

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF THE BILL:
To deter fraud by providing that any party, or person who at the time
that an action for medical malpractice is commenced is an officer,
director, member, employee or agent of a party or otherwise under the
party's control, who intentionally destroys, mutilates or
significantly alters any medical records shall be subject to a civil
penalty of not less than $1,000 for each violation. To provide an
individual who is injured as a result of the destruction, mutilation
or alteration the ability to bring an action and hold the responsible
parties accountable.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Adds a new undesignated paragraph to section 3126 of the civil
practice law and rules stating that any party, or person who is an
officer, director, member, employee or agent of a party, or otherwise
under the parties' control at the time that an action for medical
malpractice is commenced, who intentionally destroys, mutilates or
significantly alters any medical records shall be subject to a
penalty of between $1,000 and $10,000 per violation. Also states that
any person who has been injured as a result of the destruction,
mutilation or alteration may bring an action against the party and/or
person responsible to recover damages if such destruction made it
impossible or significantly impeded the plaintiff's ability to prove
his or her initial claim. A judge may also strike an offending
party's pleadings and render a judgment by default against the
offending party if the affected records are crucial to a
determination on the issue of liability.

JUSTIFICATION:
This bill helps to protect patients and promote accountability for
proper medical care by establishing penalties for the intentional
destruction, mutilation or alteration of medical records. The
destruction and alteration of medical records to cover up alleged
malpractice can have severe consequences for the victim, who may not
be able to prove his or her claim without the vital information
contained within those records. By creating a private right of
action for the person who has been injured by such destruction
against those who are responsible individuals, this bill sends a
clear and unequivocal message to all medical, non-medical and
administrative personnel that such egregious; fraudulent behavior
will not be tolerated.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2012: Senate Bill
2531 (Gianaris)- Died in Senate
Judiciary Committee
2012: Assembly Bill
4868 (Simotas)- Died in Assembly
Codes Committee


2010: Senate Bill
6131 (Schneiderman)- Died in Senate
Codes Committee
2010: Assembly Bill
5239 (Gianaris)- Died in Assembly
Codes Committee

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT:
None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
This act shall take effect immediately and shall apply to.any
intentional destruction, mutilation or significant alteration of a
medical record on or after such date.

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                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                   600

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 9, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by Sen. GIANARIS -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Judiciary

AN ACT to amend the civil practice law and rules, in relation to  estab-
  lishing a penalty and cause of action for the intentional destruction,
  mutilation or significant alteration of certain medical records

  THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. Section 3126 of  the  civil  practice  law  and  rules,  as
amended  by  chapter  98  of  the  laws  of  1993, is amended to read as
follows:
  S 3126. Penalties for refusal to comply with  order  or  to  disclose.
(A)  If  any party, or a person who at the time a deposition is taken or
an examination or inspection is made is an  officer,  director,  member,
employee  or  agent  of  a  party  or otherwise under a party's control,
refuses to obey an order for disclosure or wilfully  fails  to  disclose
information  which the court finds ought to have been disclosed pursuant
to this article, the court may make such orders with regard to the fail-
ure or refusal as are just, among them:
  1. an order that the issues to which the information is relevant shall
be deemed resolved for purposes of the action  in  accordance  with  the
claims of the party obtaining the order; or
  2.  an  order  prohibiting  the  disobedient  party from supporting or
opposing designated claims  or  defenses,  from  producing  in  evidence
designated  things  or  items  of  testimony,  or  from  introducing any
evidence of the physical, mental or blood condition sought to be  deter-
mined, or from using certain witnesses; or
  3.  an  order  striking  out  pleadings  or  parts thereof, or staying
further proceedings until the order is obeyed, or dismissing the  action
or  any  part  thereof,  or  rendering a judgment by default against the
disobedient party.

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD01701-01-3

S. 600                              2

  (B) IF ANY PARTY, OR A PERSON WHO AT  THE  TIME  THAT  AN  ACTION  FOR
MEDICAL  MALPRACTICE IS COMMENCED OR THEREAFTER IS AN OFFICER, DIRECTOR,
MEMBER, EMPLOYEE OR AGENT OF A PARTY  OR  OTHERWISE  UNDER  THE  PARTY'S
CONTROL,  INTENTIONALLY  DESTROYS, MUTILATES OR SIGNIFICANTLY ALTERS ANY
MEDICAL  RECORD, THE PARTY OR PERSON SHALL BE SUBJECT TO A CIVIL PENALTY
OF NOT LESS THAN ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS FOR EACH SUCH  ACT.  IN  ADDITION,
ANY PERSON WHO HAS BEEN INJURED BECAUSE OF SUCH INTENTIONAL DESTRUCTION,
MUTILATION  OR  SIGNIFICANT  ALTERATION OF A MEDICAL RECORD MAY BRING AN
ACTION AGAINST THE PARTY AND/OR PERSON RESPONSIBLE THEREFOR  TO  RECOVER
DAMAGES  IF  SUCH  DESTRUCTION OF EVIDENCE MADE IT IMPOSSIBLE OR SIGNIF-
ICANTLY IMPEDED THE PLAINTIFF'S ABILITY TO PROVE HIS OR HER  CLAIM.  THE
COURT MAY AWARD REASONABLE ATTORNEY'S FEES TO A PREVAILING PLAINTIFF.
  S  2.  This  act  shall take effect immediately and shall apply to any
intentional destruction,  mutilation  or  significant  alteration  of  a
medical record occurring on or after such date.

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