Anyone looking to sue a doctor for malpractice in Florida could lose their privacy rights under a state law that took effect last week, according to a series of lawsuits filed across the state. The lawsuits challenge a Florida law known as Ch. 2013-108, which gives lawyers for a doctor accused of malpractice the right to interview other doctors who treated the same patient — without the patient’s presence, consent or knowledge. Fort Lauderdale lawyer Ken Sobel, a partner at Freedland Harwin, PL, filed his lawsuit in Broward County on behalf of Anne Hintz, a Coral Springs woman whose husband died last year.
Hintz was planning to sue a private cardiologist who was treating her husband, but she is concerned that initiating a lawsuit now will open the door for the cardiologist’s lawyers to pry into medical matters that have nothing to do with the lawsuit. “Her decision to pursue a medical malpractice action is, in part, dependent on a declaration of these privacy rights and a decision by the court to grant the relief she seeks,” Sobel wrote in his lawsuit.