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Fla. justices limit private doctor-lawyer talks

Healthcare Ruling
Posted at 12:22 PM, Dec 20, 2012

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - The Florida Supreme Court has curtailed what it sees as an attempt to get around a law barring malpractice defendants from obtaining confidential medical information about plaintiffs.

The 5-2 ruling Thursday prohibits off-the-record meetings about cases between lawyers and plaintiffs other doctors even if they intend to discuss only non-privileged matters.

The decision came in the case of Dr. Lanny Garvar, a Tamarac dentist, who was sued by former patient Ramsey Hasan.

Garvar's insurance company also insures Dr. Jennifer Schaumberg, an oral surgeon who later treated Hasan. The majority quashed two lower court decisions permitting a lawyer for Schaumberg who was selected and hired by the insurance company to discuss non-privileged aspects of the case with her.

The majority said that could lead to inadvertent disclosures of confidential information.