Florida’s New Medical Malpractice Law Violates Federal Law
September 25, 2013. Federal Judge Robert Hinkle in Tallahassee ruled that Florida’s new medical malpractice law violates Federal law. The new law, just signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott earlier this year, allowed defense and insurance lawyers to conduct ex-parte interviews with a patient’s doctor. The prior law allowed interviews, but the patient’s lawyer had to be present and the patient’s lawyer could also ask questions. The new law sought to give the defense an advantage. Judge Hinkle ruled that the law violated the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). HIPAA protects the privacy of individuals medical history. The new law coerced individuals into signing consent forms just to advance a medical malpractice claim.