Just a few weeks after Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed two bills that change how medical malpractice case procedures are conducted, Florida lawyers have filed at least five lawsuits, which challenge the new laws. The new laws stipulate that any medical experts who testify in a malpractice case must be the same medical specialty as the physician who is the defendant in the case. The new laws also allow defense attorneys in malpractice cases to obtain medical information about the plaintiff in the case from subsequent healthcare providers. This provision is the reason that Florida medical malpractice attorneys have filed the lawsuits.
The lawsuits allege that this provision of the new laws violate a plaintiff’s right to privacy provided by federal laws and Florida’s constitution. The suits, three filed in federal courts and two in state courts, claim that the provision violates the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.
The suits have drawn strong comment from both sides of the issue.
Timothy Stapleton, Vice President of the Florida Medical Association, said, “It is hardly surprising that the trial bar would challenge [the law], 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.”
Debra Henley, Executive Director of the Florida Justice Association, said that the law represents another erosion of citizens’ right to privacy.
“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 patients’ personal, private medical history to complete strangers.”
Orlando personal injury lawyer James O. Cunningham and other medical malpractice attorneys are following developments in the suits very closely, as the new laws make it more difficult for them to help clients with legitimate malpractice claims. Building an effective malpractice case is difficult and expensive, as attorneys have to conduct their own investigations, hire expert witnesses and contend with the legal teams of large healthcare corporations. Mr. Cunningham has been successfully representing clients in malpractice cases since 1977 and has the skills, resources and experience to help clients receive the compensation they deserve through court awards and negotiated settlements. If you believe that you or a member of your immediate family is a victim of medical malpractice and would like to learn more about your legal options, call Mr. Cunningham today at 877-FL-INJURY (877-354-6587) to schedule your free consultation.
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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