Florida Supreme Court to Take Up Issue of Patient’s Right to Privacy in Escambia County Case

(Tampa, FL) – December 5th, 2016 – The Florida Supreme Court is set to hear arguments on December 8th in a case that has led to long legislative battle on a medical malpractice or hospital neglect law. It has been the focus of a major debate on the privacy rights of patients and access to health information which Tampa Bay, FL medical malpractice lawyers have been debating about for years now.

As reported by northescambia.com, the case filed in Escambia County court questions the constitutionality of the controversial 2013 law, which many medical malpractice legal counselors believe infringed on every patient’s right to privacy.

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Legal experts further explain that the law opened avenues for ‘ex parte communications’ in malpractice cases where the defendant’s legal team could get access to personal health information of the plaintiffs involved in a case. Such information could originate from other doctors who may have treated the patient. What many malpractice legal pros are concerned about is that such information could be disclosed without the patient’s legal team being present.

While opponents of the law claim it is a blatant violation of a patient’s right to privacy, proponents of the law have argued that attorneys on the defendant’s team would only have access to information that the plaintiff’s legal representatives already had the chance to review. The Escambia County case reached the Supreme Court after the 1st District Court of Appeal found that the law did not violate privacy rights, point out Florida medical malpractice attorneys.

Victim’s Estate in Medical Malpractice Case Moves Florida Supreme Court

The estate of Annie Godwin, a victim who died in 2009 during surgery, has moved Florida’s apex court to hear a medical malpractice or hospital neglect dispute. The case in question is against Tampa General Hospital and the plaintiff’s have through their legal counselors raised the issue of liability, as reported by wlrn.org.

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Tampa, FL medical malpractice lawyers explain that earlier in August the 2nd District Court of Appeal ruled against the plaintiffs. The victim, Annie Godwin, reportedly died during a surgical procedure to remove a cancerous tumor. According to court papers, she allegedly died due to heavy bleeding caused by a tear in a large vein.

The case touches upon the link between the University of South Florida and Tampa General Hospital since the two doctors involved were employed by the hospital that is the primary teaching hospital for the College of Medicine at USF.

In the initial lawsuit filed by Godwin’s estate in which the university, Tampa General Hospital and the physicians were named as defendants, the appeals court cleared Tampa General citing that the physicians involved were not employees of the hospital but of the university.

Meanwhile, if you believe you or a loved one is a victim of hospital neglect or malpractice, you may be eligible to receive compensation by suing the liable parties. It is a pretty extensive process and requires a lot of diligent research and homework. The chances of winning your lawsuit are best when you have appointed a Florida medical malpractice lawyer to represent you effectively in court.


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