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Court Overturns Med Mal Records Suit

Jan 31, 2014

The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday overturned a lower-court decision that could have limited the release of some records to a plaintiff in a medical-malpractice lawsuit.

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The issue stemmed from a 2004 constitutional amendment that gave patients rights to obtain what are known as "adverse medical incident" reports from health providers in malpractice cases.

Justices ruled Thursday in a Miami-Dade County case filed by Myriam Ampuero-Martinez against Cedars Healthcare Group and other medical providers after the death of her father.

The 3rd District Court of Appeal in 2011 sided with Cedars in a dispute about Ampuero-Martinez's request for adverse-incident reports that involved other patients who might not have had the same conditions or treatments as her father.

But in a brief opinion, the Supreme Court unanimously said the appeals court improperly relied on a state law that justices had earlier ruled invalid. The Supreme Court sent the case back to the lower court.