Attorneys Challenge New Florida Malpractice Law

Posted on July 8, 2013

Several attorneys in Florida are challenging a new malpractice law in Florida that allows medical malpractice defendants to access personal health care information about a plaintiff from other health care providers not necessarily involved in a potential lawsuit.

Five different lawsuits have been filed in state and federal courts. They claim that the new law violates the privacy provisions established under the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Under HIPAA, which was enacted by Congress in 1996, a patient must give permission before his or her health information can be used or shared by a third party — under most circumstances.

One lawsuit, which was filed in federal court in Miami, claims that the law violates patients’ rights by allowing “unlimited and unfettered release of personal health information to those defendants without the valid consent of claimants.”

That lawsuit seeks an injunction to stop the enforcement of the law, according to Bloomberg News.

The lawsuit filed in Miami claims that the plaintiff has been contemplating filing a lawsuit on behalf of her child, who allegedly was born with a seizure disorder. The suit contends that she is afraid to file due to privacy concerns over a sexual assault and rape she suffered during her pregnancy.

The executive director of the Florida Justice Association told the Miami Herald, “It is appalling that in Florida, our legislature and governor have authorized doctors to divulge their patients’ personal, private medical history to complete strangers.”

Although the new law does not require that a health care provider turn over confidential treatment records, the law does allow a provider to deliver that information to a defendant’s attorney without a patient’s permission.

The medical malpractice attorneys at Farah & Farah in Jacksonville will be watching the outcome of these lawsuits with great interest. If you believe you or a loved one has been injured due to the negligence of a health care provider, contact Farah & Farah to see what your legal options are. We will aggressively seek compensation for damages in your case.

Call us at us at (800) 533-3555. Or contact us online. Your consultation is free and confidential.

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