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Pre-existing Injuries And Personal Injury Claims

by | Oct 6, 2015 | Injuries

This year, Florida’s Second District Court of Appeal weighed in on whether or not a pre-existing injury unrelated to a car accident was relevant and discoverable by the defendant. In Muller vs. Walmart Stores, the plaintiff alleged he sustained an injury at a distribution center when he was struck by a truck owned by Walmart and driven by one of it’s employees. During discovery (the information gathering phase of the case), plaintiff revealed he had served in the U.S. army and had three different injuries in that time period. The plaintiff stated that he was not asking money for the aggravation of those prior injuries. Regardless, the defendant requested the plaintiff’s entire military personnel file, some of which is classified as sensitive information. The plaintiff argued these records were irrelevant to the case at hand. The trial court granted the defendant’s request, but the appellate court reversed. The appellate court found that, while there may be relevant information in the plaintiff’s military records, the records also contain a lot of information that would not be pertinent to the present case. Thus, permitting the defendant access to the records would be “highly intrusive to [the plaintiff’s] private interests.” Consequently, the case was remanded (sent back) to the trial court, so that the trial court could receive the military file, review it, and only disclose the relevant documents to the defendant. Muller vs. Walmart Stores Inc., 164 So.3d 748(Fla. 2nd DCA 2015)

To read the appellate decision: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/fl-district-court-of-appeal/1701679.html

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