Lee v. Park, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 152138 (October 23, 2013)

By Michael Zerres

This action arose out of plaintiff’s allegations that defendant physician negligently disclosed information regarding plaintiff’s use of certain medication to plaintiff’s wife, which enabled her to bring charges of sexual infidelity against him. Plaintiff sought compensatory and punitive damages from the defendant physician for breach of confidentiality, negligence, and negligence per se. Plaintiff further moved for an Order waiving the statutory requirement of an Affidavit of Merit under the common knowledge exception.

The common knowledge exception was found to apply, and no Affidavit of Merit was required where, here, the allegations did not require proof of a deviation from a professional standard of care, since the carelessness of the defendant is readily apparent to anyone of average intelligence and ordinary experience. In other words, plaintiff successfully argued that an Affidavit of Merit was not needed as it is common knowledge that a physician who discloses privileged doctor-patient information is negligent.

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