Conforti v. St. Joseph’s Healthcare, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 138433 (D.N.J. Aug. 15, 2019)

The scope of discovery of “garden variety “ emotional distress damages in claim brought under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination.

The plaintiff was diagnosed with gender dysphoria and alleged that he was denied the ability and opportunity to schedule his hysterectomy at the defendant’s facility for discriminatory reasons. He sought compensatory and punitive damages, along with injunctive relief. The damages sought included a claim for garden variety emotional distress. As part of discovery, the defendant sought the treating medical records relating to the plaintiff’s diagnosis and treatment of his gender dysphoria. The plaintiff moved to quash the requests, asserting that the treating records were protected by the doctor-patient privilege. After balancing the equities, Magistrate Judge Waldor concluded that certain of the records were discoverable since the plaintiff had placed his emotional state in issue by manifesting an unmistakable intent to inject his symptoms and diagnosis into the litigation, whether as “garden variety” emotional distress or otherwise.


Case Law Alerts, 4th Quarter, October 2019

Case Law Alerts is prepared by Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin to provide information on recent developments of interest to our readers. This publication is not intended to provide legal advice for a specific situation or to create an attorney-client relationship. Copyright © 2019 Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin, all rights reserved. This article may not be reprinted without the express written permission of our firm.