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Rodriguez v. Smith, Case No. 3D13-2363 (3rd DCA)

Rodriguez, the defendant in a personal injury suit, sought a writ of certiorari to quash a discovery order compelling him to answer discovery relating to his medical circumstances and injuries sustained in the subject accident. Rodriguez had not asserted any causes of action against the plaintiff. Rodriguez therefore argued that only the plaintiff’s injuries were the subject of pretrial discovery.

During pretrial discovery, Rodriguez testified that his leg and ankle had been struck, apparently by debris while standing outside his vehicle at the time of the incident. The plaintiff propounded the discovery at issue in the appeal, which the trial court compelled Rodriguez to answer.

An order compelling discovery of irrelevant, confidential personal medical records may meet the stringent test for certiorari jurisdiction. The Third DCA noted that it may have exercised certiorari jurisdiction had the trial court’s order required answers to the medical interrogatories without limitation. The plaintiff, however, agreed that any responses to the facially overbroad interrogatories may be confined to those medical circumstances and injuries arising from the accident. Finding that discovery of the nature and extent of Rodriguez’s injuries caused by flying debris could be pertinent to the plaintiff’s proof regarding location and force of the collision, or Rodriguez’s ability to provide information to first responders, the Third DCA denied the writ.

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