Court: Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
Docket: 19 WAP 2020
Opinion Date: August 17, 2021
Judge: Thomas G. Saylor
Areas of Law: Civil Procedure, Health Law, Personal Injury
This discretionary appeal concerning discovery in a medical negligence lawsuit in which the patient suffered complications following surgery at a hospital. The issue was whether certain portions of the hospital’s credentialing file for the doctor who performed the surgery were protected from discovery. The hospital claimed protection under the Peer Review Protection Act and the federal Health Care Quality Improvement Act. The Supreme Court held: (1) a hospital’s credentials committee qualified as a “review committee” for purposes of Section 4 of the Peer Review Protection Act to the extent it undertakes peer review; and (2) the federal Health Care Quality Improvement Act protects from disclosure the responses given by the National Practitioner Data Bank to queries submitted to it – and this protection exists regardless of any contrary aspect of state law. The order of the Superior Court was reversed insofar as it ordered discovery of the NPDB query responses. It was vacated in all other respects and the matter was remanded for further proceedings.
This case law update is brought to you by Freeway Law auto accident and personal injury lawyers in Orange County. The following is not one of our cases, but it is of some significance, and we thought we should share it with our readers for informational purposes. The information above is for informational purposes only and not to be construed as legal advice.