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Kristina Michelle Brana v. Rodolfo Roura, Case Nos. 4D14-639 and 4D14-677 (4th DCA)

In Brana, the Fourth DCA granted writs for certiorari and quashed orders denying motions for protective order. The respondent had issued subpoenas to hospitals where a Dr. Grabel performed spinal surgeries. The subpoenas requested all documents pertaining to Dr. Grabel, which as worded, encompassed confidential medical records of Dr. Grabel’s patients. The Fourth DCA noted, however, that the respondent had failed to comply with the notice provisions of Fla. Stat. 456.057(7)(a), which requires notice to patients whose medical records are sought before issuance of a subpoena.

The respondent also issued subpoenas to insurance carriers requesting disclosure of financial information concerning payments made by those insurance carriers to Dr. Grabel for services provided as a litigation expert. Such information is protected under Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.280(b)(5)(A)(iii)4., which shields an expert from disclosing his or her earnings from expert services or income from other services. Disclosure of such information may be required if unusual or compelling circumstances are shown. The trial court had not identified any such circumstances when it denied the petitioners’ motions for protective order. Accordingly, the Fourth DCA quashed the trial court’s denials of the motions for protective orders.

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