The New York City-run Elmhurst Hospital in Queens must turn over records of a former psychiatric patient who burned a woman who is now suing the city for negligently releasing the former patient, Civil Court Judge Larry Love has ruled.
Fadilja Dervisevic alleges that the former patient, Goldrokh Khavan, threw hot liquid on her and on her teenage son, Razim Seferovic, causing both of them to sustain burns. She claims that the city should not have released Khavan, who had been hospitalized multiple times and whose behavior had resulted in at least 15 complaints to police.
Dervisevic moved for the hospital, which is run by the city’s Heath and Hospitals Corporation, to turn over Khavan’s medical records. She also asked for any New York Police Department records related to Khavan.
The city argued that the entire suit was barred because it owed no special duty to Dervisevic. It also argued that medical records were privileged.
Love, however, ruled on June 4 that there was no need to show a special duty in a case alleging the negligent discharge of a psychiatric patient, citing several past rulings.
He further ruled that he would need to examine Khavan’s records to determine whether the interest of justice outweighed her privacy. He therefore ordered those records to be turned over for in camera review.
Seferovic is represented by Jay Torrenzano of Eaton & Torrenzano.
The city is represented by the Corporation Counsel’s office.
The case is Seferovic v. City of New York, 300453/11.