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Florida Supreme Court Rules in Patient Privacy Case

The constitutionality of a change in Florida’s medical malpractice law has been upheld by a state appeals court on Tuesday.

The appeals court ruled in part that some of the rights to privacy of patients are waived when a malpractice lawsuit is pursued.

A three-judge panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal made the decision which stated that a 2013 law passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature were in fact constitutional.

The core issue and the dispute surrounding the case center around the idea of “ex parte communications.” The Florida law requires that patients who pursue malpractice claims sign forms that authorize communications that would allow legal counsel for defendants are able to access medical information for that patient without the patient’s own counsel being present.

A challenge to the recently passed law was filed in 2013 by plaintiff, Emma Gayle Weaver, who was contemplating filing a medical malpractice suit against a physician, but was concerned that such ex parte communication may be unconstitutional. Weaver was serving as the representative of the estate of Thomas E. Weaver whose care was at issue.

The panel affirms the ruling of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last year which upheld the ex-parte change in a ruling. Concerns had been raised whether the 2013 Florida law violated the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, commonly known as HIPAA which limits access to personal medical information and its disclosure except in certain circumstances.

If you have questions or concerns as to whether or not your rights or the rights of a loved ones have been violated or you have suffered as the result of malpractice or medical negligence, call the law offices of Bottar Leone today.

The attorneys at Bottar Leone have than 30 years of experience in the medical malpractice field. Bottar Leone takes great pride in defending the rights of patients and their loved ones in the State of New York.

If you suspect that you or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice, contact us today. You may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, rehabilitative care, loss of income, permanent disability or the tragedy of wrongful death.

Contact us by telephone at (315) 313-6809, (888) 979-1689, or you can reach us by email at info@bottarlaw.com.