Leigh Jones reports:
Baker & McKenzie has lost a bid to obtain the mental health records of an attorney who sued the law firm for allegedly firing him in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
An Illinois federal magistrate judge on Monday denied the firm’s motion to compel discovery of mental health records belonging to David Kronenberg, who worked as an associate in the firm’s Chicago office from 2004 to 2007.
In a strongly worded decision, Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Cole found that Kronenberg had not raised his mental health as an issue in his lawsuit and therefore had not waived privilege regarding the records. Kronenberg alleged that his back injuries led to the firm’s wrongful termination.
“Baker is not entitled to rummage around in Mr. Kronenberg’s privileged and confidential mental health records on a scavenger hunt for nuggets of evidence,” the judge wrote. The case is in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
Read more on Law.com. I think the judge not only made the correct decision, but that it’s a valuable one in terms of protecting employees and those with disabilities.