As if the Florida Legislature hasn't given enough lawsuit protection to health care providers by limiting injured victims damages, and by placing onerous pre-lawsuit screening requirements; a recently enacted law, signed by our pro-insurance Governor, now gives potential medical malpractice defendants the right to unmonitored ex parte communications with an injured victim's treating doctors. Thankfully, this new law is now the subject of numerous lawsuits challenging its constitutionality, asserting that it violates privacy rights afforded by Florida's constitution. The lawsuits also challenge the law as a violation of the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.
There can only be one reason why a potential defendant and their attorney would want to speak to an injured victim's treating doctor, that is to intimidate that doctor from assisting the injured party with their case; why else would the Florida Legislature permit such an egregious violation of a citizens right to privacy?
The attorneys filed the lawsuits challenging the new medical malpractice law in Miami, Palm Beach and Ft. Lauderdale. Of course, the doctor's and their insurance companies, who want to whatever they can to limit injured victims recoveries, believe the lawsuits are frivolous.
Other limiting portions of the new law include the requirement that the experts hired by the injured patient practice precisely the same type of medicine as the doctor who is the potential defendant. This provision will severely limit Plaintiff's attorneys abilities to find experts who are willing to hold their brethren accountable for committing malpractice. As Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorneys helping victims of malpractice, we certainly hope the lawsuits successfully overturn these recent limitations on patient's rights.