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Florida Fifth DCA rules that hospital’s adverse incident reports were properly excluded as evidence at medical negligence trial

November 19, 2019, in Bauduy v. Adventist Health System, No. 5D18-2678, the Florida Fifth DCA affirmed a trial court ruling which excluded the defendant hospital’s adverse incident reports as evidence at trial pursuant to Fla. Stat. § 395.0197, which provides that such reports are subject to discovery but are not admissible as evidence in court. The plaintiff argued that Amendment 7 to the Florida Constitution, now Article X, Section 25, which guarantees patient access to adverse incident reports, rendered the prohibition on their use at trial unconstitutional. The Fifth DCA noted that in considering the effect of constitutional amendments upon existing statutes, the rule is that the statute will continue in effect unless it is completely inconsistent with the plain terms of the Constitution, citing In re Advisory Op. to Att’y Gen. re Use of Marijuana for Certain Med. Conditions, 132 So. 3d 786, 807 (Fla. 2014). The Court concluded that Amendment 7 did not establish any right to a “specific use” of adverse incident reports.