Five Florida attorneys have filed separate lawsuits in state and federal courts recently to overturn a new state law, which offers protection to doctors facing medical malpractice charges. They claim that the new law violates a person’s right to privacy provided by the Florida constitution, as well as violating a federal law that protects patient’s privacy. While not requiring medical professionals or their representatives to do so, the new law does allow health care providers to be called as witnesses, which could breach patient confidentiality and provide defense attorneys with information about a patient’s treatment.
“With everything that is happening in the federal government right now involving the invasion of privacy of U.S. citizens by their government, it is appalling to know that in Florida, our legislature and governor have authorized doctors to divulge their patient’s personal, private medical history to complete strangers,” said Debra Henley, executive director of the Florida Justice Association.
The suits were filed in state courts in Pensacola and Fort Lauderdale and federal courts in Tallahassee, West Palm Beach and Miami. A spokesperson for the Florida Medical Association (FMA) fired back shortly after the lawsuits were filed. He was unequivocal about the FMA’s position regarding the litigation.
Timothy Stapleton, vice president of the FMA, said, “It is hardly surprising that the trial bar would challenge this, as they were content with the extremely uneven playing field that existed before this legislation was enacted. This is what personal injury lawyers do, they file lawsuits.”
Orlando personal injury lawyers would agree with the latter part of Mr. Stapleton’s statement but vehemently oppose the initial portion of the statement. Personal injury lawyers do file medical malpractice lawsuits, but only in cases where a healthcare provider’s negligence resulted in injury to someone under their care and their actions fell below the generally accepted standard of care for the circumstances. As for the “extremely uneven playing field” to which Mr. Stapleton refers: which is more uneven, an injured person seeking damages with the help of a medical malpractice attorney in court or the legal team of a huge healthcare corporation with billions in annual revenue using all their resources to dispute the validity of the claim?
If you or a close family member have been injured and have questions about state and federal medical malpractice law, your rights and which course of action might be best for you and your family, call Mr. Cunningham today at 877-FL-INJURY (877-354-6587) to schedule a free consultation. He has built a proven and very respectable record of success helping clients in medical malpractice cases that very few Orlando personal injury attorneys can equal. Call today to learn more about your legal options.
James O. Cunningham
Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.
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