Altered Medical Records

By Michael Zerres

Gonzalez v. Agarwal Revisited

One other noteworthy point about Gonzalez v. Agarwal (discussed below re: ER Care) is that the Court permitted that plaintiff’s attorney to question the accuracy of Dr. Agarwal’s office records, suggesting that they may have been re-copied with certain of the patient’s relevant complaints removed. While there was no direct evidence that the doctor’s records were changed, there was enough circumstantial evidence (for example, the testimony of witnesses that complaints about headaches were made by Ms. Gonzalaez to Dr. Agarwal) to permit the issue to be raised, with the Court stating “The mere fact that ‘evidence is shrouded with unsavory implications is no reason for exclusion when it is a significant part of the proof,’” quoting from State v. west 29 NJ 327, 335 (1959) So, it seems that if there is a legitimate basis to question the veracity of a doctor or hospital’s records, it ought to be permitted.

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