Recovery of Punitive Damages Allowed for Unauthorized Disclosure of Privileged Medical Information

The Appellate Division, Second Department of the New York State Supreme Court has ruled that an unmarried woman who underwent an abortion can recover punitive damages from the medical clinic where the procedure was performed for the clinic’s wrongful disclosure to her mother of private information from which the girl’s mother was able to deduce that the girl had undergone a abortion. The case is J. v. Long Island Surgi-Center, decided on September 25, 2007.

The appellate court was reviewing a jury verdict awarding the plaintiff $65,000.00 in compensatory damages for emotional distress and $300,000.00 in punitive damages. The … Read the rest