Princeton partner Ross Lewin was quoted in Law360 in an article titled, “NJ High Court To Weigh Hospital Document Privacy Parameters,” which reports that the New Jersey Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case seeking clarification of confidentiality provisions in the state's Patient Safety Act.
The state appeals panel ruled in August that hospitals' internal analysis generated in compliance with the statute was shielded from discovery but documents created for other purposes were unprotected.
The panel ruled that information generated by health care facilities exclusively for internal analysis under the Act is privileged as long as all the Act’s requirements are fulfilled. The state high court has now said it will consider whether a hospital memorandum concerning circumstances surrounding the birth of the minor plaintiff is privileged from disclosure under the confidentiality provisions of the law.
Ross, a partner in the Commercial Litigation Practice Group, represents amicus curiae the New Jersey Hospital Association, which praised the August ruling for establishing clear guidelines for health care facilities to follow.
“The issue of importance to hospitals and trial lawyers and anyone else with a vested interested in seeing the process work is that the court has said that as long as you play by the [PSA] rules, no one can pierce the veil,” said Ross.
“This means that there will be a full, frank and robust evaluation of these adverse events that will be conducted under an umbrella of confidentiality as the legislature intended.”
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