In the medical malpractice case of Garvey v. Adamo, No. 19-CV-1893 (C.P. Lacka. Co. June 9, 2020 Nealon, J.), Judge Terrence R. Nealon of the Lackawanna County Court of Common Pleas addressed discovery issues pertinent to a Defendant’s objections to a Plaintiff’s notice to serve a subpoena upon the Attorney General’s Office regarding charges filed against one of the Defendant doctor’s for alleged charges of improperly prescribing and distributing controlled substances. The basis for the Plaintiff’s lawsuit was that the Defendant doctor had prescribed opioids to the Plaintiff in excessive amounts for years which allegedly caused the Plaintiff to become addicted and require rehab treatment.
In a fashion reminiscent of Judge R. Stanton Wettick (ret.) of Allegheny County, Judge Nealon reviewed the law of Pennsylvania pertaining to allowable discovery and confirmed that while discovery is liberally allowed in the Commonwealth, there are restrictions based upon reasonableness and fishing expeditions are not permitted.
The Court found that the language of the subpoena requests was not set forth with reasonable particularity and also lack temporal parameters. Judge Nealon ruled that the Plantiff’s discovery request was “overly broad in scope and time in light of the professional negligence issues raised [by the Plaintiff] in this case.” Op. at p. 5.
As such, the Court denied the Plaintiff’s motion to strike the medical Defendant’s objections to the subpoena at issue addressed to the Attorney General’s Office.
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