Medical-malpractice bill teed up to pass Senate

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After agreeing to a compromise on a controversial part of the bill, the Senate could vote Thursday to pass a measure (SB 1792) that would change the state’s medical-malpractice laws.

The Senate on Wednesday approved an amendment that dealt with physicians who are not parties to medical-malpractice lawsuits but treat the patients in those cases. The controversy centered on whether defense attorneys should be allowed to have what are known as “ex parte communications” with those treating physicians to try to get information. Such interviews would be outside the presence of the plaintiffs’ attorneys. The amendment, in part, would require defense attorneys to give notice in advance of attempting to talk with treating physicians.

Senators, meanwhile, rejected another amendment that would have eliminated part of the bill that calls for increased restrictions on expert witnesses in malpractice cases. The House is considering a similar malpractice bill (HB 827). Senate President Don Gaetz said he hopes the House will ultimately take up the Senate version and pass it.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.