Washington Law Review




Plaintiff, a clerk-typist, sitting at her desk, was injured in the arm by a falling windowpane. She commenced a personal injury action against her employer and the owners and managers of the building in which she was injured. During pre-trial deposition, the plaintiff's attorney objected to the questioning of the plaintiff's physician on grounds of the physician-patient privilege. Deposition was adjourned. On defendant's application to the court on the motion calendar the judge ordered the doctor to answer questions about plaintiff's medical history in regard to suspected similar arm injuries. Commencement of the personal injury action waived her physician-patient privilege. On writ of certiorari to review the order, a majority of five of the nine justices of the Washington Supreme Court reversed. Held: The filing of a complaint in a personal injury action is not a waiver of the plaintiff's physician-patient privilege, such that plaintiff's doctor can be examined by the defendant on deposition. Bond v. Independent Order of Foresters, 69 Wash. Dec. 2d 885, 421 P.2d 351 (1967).

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