Justice Joseph Maltese
Patient Illardo and physician Hoyek move and cross-move, respectively, to strike Staten Island University Hospital’s (SIUH) answer alleging spoliation of evidence in this medical malpractice action. Illardo was admitted to SIUH for a cardiac catherization. Before admission, Illardo was prescribed and used Plavix, which she was given upon admission. She claimed the medication discharge form did not continue Plavix after discharge. Illardo returned to SIUH and was diagnosed with a heart attack, contending SIUH failed to prescribe the proper medication upon release. She served defendants with a demand for discovery and inspection seeking disclosure of the discharge form. The court noted that only the discharge form was missing from Illardo’s entire medical record. The court noted that while it was “sympathetic” to SIUH’s claim that it diligently searched for the record, it found that after more than one year of searching, the missing record had not been located. It concluded that SIUH was negligent in maintaining Illardo’s file, which it had a duty to maintain for six years from the date of discharge. As such, Illardo’s motion and Hoyek’s cross-motion was granted.