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Discrepancies in Data Did Not Warrant Additional Discovery, or Sanctions

Posted in CASE SUMMARIES

White v. Lenox Hill Hosp., 2005 WL 1081443 (S.D.N.Y. May 10, 2005)

The district court affirmed a magistrate’s order denying plaintiff’s application for additional discovery concerning discrepancies between patient data on defendant’s “Invision” computer system, and the “Mediware” system maintained by an independent contractor for the defendant. Plaintiff contended that there were approximately 1,500 Mediware files that did not have corresponding Invision files. However, plaintiff failed to show that the missing files were necessary for her expert’s study to be statistically meaningful, or that the discrepancies resulted from a deliberate effort to skew the data. Further, the defendant had presented testimony explaining that there was no guarantee that the patient data on the two systems would be “totally ‘in synch’” because the data on the Mediware system was entered manually. The court also rejected plaintiff’s request for sanctions based on defendant’s failure to produce the missing Invision files, finding the request to be untimely and unsupported by any evidence that defendant had destroyed any computer files with a culpable state of mind.