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Prink v. Rockefeller Center Inc.

Court of Appeals of New York
398 N.E.2d 517 (N.Y. 1979)


Facts

Mr. Prink died as the result of a fall from the 36th story window of his office in Rockefeller Center. It is unclear whether the fall was caused by the negligence of the owners and architects in their construction of the building or if Mr. Prink committed suicide by jumping out the window. The medical examiner noted on Mr. Prink’s death certificate that Mr. Prink had been depressed. Mrs. Prink (plaintiff) brought a wrongful death suit against Rockefeller Center (Rockefeller) (defendants). At trial, Rockefeller sought to introduce into evidence statements made by Mr. Prink’s psychiatrist, Dr. Doyle, to Mrs. Prink after her husband’s death. Mrs. Prink refused to reveal Dr. Doyle’s statements about his patient, claiming physician-patient privilege. The trial court ordered her to answer Rockefeller’s questions about her conversation with Dr. Doyle. The appellate court affirmed. Mrs. Prink appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Meyer, J.)

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