In any civil lawsuit, the parties will engage in discovery during which they will exchange documents and depose witnesses to attempt to obtain facts in support of their position. Not all materials are discoverable, however, as certain information is protected by privilege. In a recent product liability case in which it is alleged that medication caused birth defects, the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts discussed when a plaintiff can be compelled to disclose information relied upon by and obtained from a consulting expert. If you were or a loved one suffered injuries due to a defective product you should speak with a trusted Massachusetts personal injury attorney about your potential claims.
Facts and Procedure of the Case
It is reported that plaintiffs filed a lawsuit against the defendant setting forth product liability claims alleging that drug manufactured by the defendant and prescribed to pregnant women caused birth defects in their children. In part, the plaintiffs relied on a report by an expert third-party witness, in support of their argument that the defendant’s drug caused birth defects. The defendants sought to depose the third-party witness, and sought documents regarding the relationship between the plaintiffs’ attorneys and the third-party witness via discovery. Plaintiffs and the third-party witness both filed motions for a protective order arguing that the documents sought were protected by the work-product doctrine. The court ultimately denied the motions, finding that the documents were not privileged.