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.