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On August 7, 2013, the 4th DCA in State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company v. Verro, 38 Fla. L. Weekly D1685A (Fla. 4th DCA August 7, 2013) held that Independent Medical Examination (IME) or Compulsory Medical Examination (CME) reports prepared by a party's expert witness in unrelated cases are not discoverable.

State Farm sought certiorari review of a discovery order requiring it to produce IME or CME reports prepared by one of its expert witnesses in other litigation cases. Plaintiffs were specifically seeking information regarding the expert's "conclusion and/or resulting impression" from the last 20 IME/CME reports prepared by the expert on behalf of State Farm and State Farm's counsel in other matters. The trial court ordered State Farm to redact the personal information of the examinees before production.

The 4th DCA granted State Farm's writ of certiorari and quashed the trial court's order. The 4th DCA held that IME and CME examination reports contain private health information of non-parties which cannot be sufficiently protected even if personal information were to be redacted before production. Accordingly, the 4th DCA held that it was an error for the trial court to have ordered production of the examination reports relating to non-parties.

 


This summary was prepared by Michael Woodard of our firm.


Michael Woodard

 

 

38 Fla. L. Weekly D1685a

 

Insurance -- Discovery -- Conclusion and/or resulting impression from last twenty independent medical examination or compulsory medical examination reports prepared by insurer's expert witness for insurer and insurer's law firm -- Redaction of patient record information and medical information does not sufficiently protect privacy rights of non-parties

STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY, Petitioner, v. BONNIE E. VERRO and GORDON VERRO, Respondents. 4th District. Case No. 4D13-1199. August 7, 2013. Petition for writ of certiorari to the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit, St. Lucie County; Dwight L. Geiger, Judge; L.T. Case No. 562012CA001051. Counsel: Carri S. Leininger of Williams, Leininger & Cosby, P.A., North Palm Beach, for petitioner. Julia A. Farkas of Greenspoon Marder, P.A., Port St. Lucie, for respondents.

(Per Curiam.) State Farm seeks certiorari review of a discovery order that requires it to produce its expert witness's Independent Medical Examination (IME) or Compulsory Medical Examination (CME) reports from unrelated cases. At issue is specific information, namely the physician's "conclusion and/or resulting impression" from the last twenty (20) IME/CME reports prepared by the physician for State Farm and State Farm's law firm. Based on our decision in Coopersmith v. Perrine, 91 So. 3d 246 (Fla. 4th DCA 2012), we grant the petition with respect to request numbers seven and eight. We recognize that the trial court provided that any patient record information and medical information be deleted. However, as explained in Coopersmith, redaction does not sufficiently protect the privacy rights of non-parties.

Petition for writ of certiorari granted in part. (Gross, Gerber and Forst, JJ., concur.)









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