My doctor deleted my medical records to cover up malpractice.

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My doctor deleted my medical records to cover up malpractice.

My doctor performed a TKR on my
right knee, however I have had
problems sine the inception 2012.
I told him about pain in the knee
many times. I have been
hospitalized many time because
of the knee. I was seen again in
may of 2018 at his office. He told
me I have a bone growth and
there is permanent swelling. I just
found out not by him that my knee
device was recalled. I knew there
was negligence on his part. I
requested my medical records
from 2006 the very first time I
went to this hospital. Somehow
he got notice of this and deleted
the times I went to his office in
pain. I want to sue for negligence
and depleting my medical records.

Asked on March 17, 2019 under Malpractice Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

When was the last time you saw this doctor? In New York, a doctor must keep medical records for six years from the last time they saw the patient professionally. If you have seen this doctor within the last 6 years, then his disposal of the records was likely improper; while you cannot sue him for deleting the records themselves, if you otherwise sue him (e.g. for malpractice), his improper disposal of your medical records can lead to an "adverse inference" against him: that is, the judge can instruct the jury that because the doctor disposes of records when he should not have, the jury may assume that the records would have been favorable to you and would have provided some support for your case.
If you did not see him as a patient within the last 6 years, however, he could dispose of the records; the law does not make doctors keep records of former patients former. In this case, if more than 6 years went by since you'd seen him as a doctor, he did nothing wrong of disposing of the records.


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