Judge limits request for medical records

CHARLESTON -- Though a judge quashed a subpoena for a Kanawha County woman's entire medical history in a personal injury suit she filed against WVU Tech, he ordered she'll still have to turn over records related to treatment for her alleged injury.

Kanawha Circuit Judge Louis H. "Duke" Bloom on May 1 accepted the April 23 recommendation of Bruce Freeman that a subpoena WVU Tech's lawyers sent to Charleston Area Medical Center requesting the medical charts of Marilyn L. Kinser from her date of birth until March 6 be quashed. Bloom appointed Freeman as a special commissioner to conduct discovery on March 16 after Kinser's attorney, Shawn R. Romano, filed a motion to quash three days earlier.

Bloom also accepted Freeman's recommendation that Kinser, 48, of Elkview, sign a release compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act for her medical records at CAMC, Thomas Memorial Hospital and the Ortho Clinic from 2006 to the present. The recommendation came with the instruction that WVU Tech, and its attorneys, Kelly Morgan and David E. Schumacher, were not to disclose Kinser's records to third parties, and were to acknowledge receipt of the records before reviewing them.

Lastly, since they were the losing side, Bloom ordered that WVU Tech pay for Freeman's service. Records show he performed 4.5 hours of work at $200 an hour.

Choosing a college

Kinser's suit stems from an alleged fall she took while on a "sloping walkway" on WVU Tech's campus in Montgomery. Records show the alleged fall happened on Feb. 20, 2008, when she was accompanying her son, Patrick, on a prospective visit.

Though records are unclear at to where on WVU Tech's campus Kinser's alleged fall occurred, she maintains it happened "while reasonably and prudently traveling upon said walkway, miss[ing] the aforementioned step, [and] falling to the ground." As a result of her fall, Kinser alleges she broke her left foot and injured her left ankle, shoulder and arm.

In her complaint filed Dec. 16, Kinser alleges that her injuries were a direct result of WVU Tech failing to maintain the walkway, and warn people about it. She alleges her fall caused her to suffer, among other things, physical pain and suffering, mental anguish and emotional distress.

Kinser's husband, Gary II, is listed as co-plaintiff, and makes a claim for loss of consortium.

In addition to pre- and post-judgment interest, and reasonable attorney's fees and expenses, the Kinsers are seeking damages up to the limits of the state's liability insurance coverage which is $1 million.

The alleged fall aside, Kinser's visit had a seemingly positive outcome as Patrick, 19, later enrolled at WVU Tech in the fall. Records show he is a sophomore studying engineering.

Kinser's suit is scheduled for trial Jan. 11, 2010.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 08-C-3367

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