On August 28, 2019 the appellate court covering Queens County revived a dismissed malpractice case, but held that the dilatory conduct of plaintiff's attorney would be better punished by refusing him the right to depose any of the physicians or nurses employed by the hospital defendant. The plaintiff had sued New York Presbyterian Hospital/New York Weill Cornell Center for medical malpractice in 2014. The case progressed slowly and some three years later only the plaintiff had been questioned at an examination before trial (deposition). Defense counsel succeeded in persuading the Court to issue an order requiring the plaintiff's attorney "to narrow his demands to depose witnesses affiliated with the hospital". The plaintiff's attorney refused to limit his demands so the Court dismissed plaintiff's case for failure to prosecute and for refusing to limit the list of witnesses for deposition.
The appellate court reinstated the lawsuit finding that a more appropriate punishment would be to deprive the plaintiff of his right to question any of the hospital's doctors or nurses at a deposition.This is a severe consequential limitation of the plaintiff's ability to gather the evidence necessary to prove the case at trial. Rezk v New York Presbyterian Hospital, 2019 WL 4048217