Florida High Court: Hospitals Must Tell Patients of Lawsuit Limits

January 19, 2010

The Florida Supreme Court says hospitals must warn patients about a state law that bars malpractice lawsuits for birth-related neurological injuries.

The justices last week ruled hospitals that fail to do so can then be sued even if a patient’s doctor provided a notice required by a law designed to reduce malpractice cases against obstetricians.

Properly noticed patients cannot sue but receive limited no-fault compensation if something goes wrong.

The ruling came in two cases involving Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg.

It reversed lower court rulings that said hospitals are covered by doctors’ notices. The justices said the law clearly requires hospitals as well as doctors to notify patients.

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