Friday, April 17, 2020

Court Addresses Evidentiary Privileges Under MCARE Act In Med Mal Case


In the case of DelGuercio v. Tio, No. 19-CV-3604 (C.P. Lacka. Co. March 26, 2020 Nealon, J.), the court issued a Rule 1925(a) Order in support of its decision directing a Defendant hospital in this medical malpractice action to submit two (2) event reports and a patient safety report for an in camera review in order to facilitate a determination as to whether those materials are protected from discovery by the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005 and the Peer Review Protection Act of the Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error Act (MCARE). 

The court noted that the hospital, as the party asserting evidentiary privileges under these Acts, had the burden of establishing that the discovery of the reports at issue was prohibited by those statutes. The court noted that the limited submissions by the Defendant hospital raised a series of unanswered questions regarding the applicability of the claimed privileges. 

As such, rather than grant the Plaintiffs’ Motion to Compel, the court directed the hospital to submit the disputed reports for an in camera review in an effort to resolve the unsettled issues. 

Rather than complying with this directive, the Defendant hospital filed an appeal and the court issued this Rule 1925 Opinion in support of its finding that it was not an abuse of discretion for the trial court to have ordered the in camera review under the circumstances.

Anyone wishing to review a copy of this case may click this LINK.

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