U.S. District Judge
In a move applauded by Orlando medical malpractice attorneys, a federal judge recently struck down a key Florida medical malpractice law that required a patient to allow a defending physician’s attorney to informally discuss the case with the patient’s other health care providers. The law allowed such discussions to occur without the patient or their legal representative present. In his ruling, U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle said that the Florida law violates the patient consent provisions of the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). [Murphy v. Dulay 4:113cv378].
Late December brought important news for people who filed claims against Toyota Motor Corp. for accidents, injuries and deaths in connection with sudden, unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles. Earlier this month, we blogged about a $17.35 million fine filed against Toyota by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration for reacting slowly to floor mat problems in some Lexus vehicles. That fine has now been dwarfed by a record $1 billion payout by Toyota to settle hundreds of lawsuits filed by owners who said that the value of their Toyota vehicles plummeted after the automaker issued recalls to correct unintended acceleration problems. The settlement came as a surprise to James O. Cunningham and other Orlando Toyota recall accident attorneys, as it is unprecedented in its size. It is the largest in U.S. history that involves product liability in automobiles.