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Florida Fifth DCA denies petition of motor vehicle negligence defendant to quash plaintiff’s interrogatories seeking information concerning the financial relationship, if any, between the defendant’s attorney, liability insurer, and medical experts

On August 21, 2020, in Owens v. Perron, et al, No. 5D20-508, the Florida Fifth DCA denied the petition for certiorari of a defendant in a motor vehicle negligence case who sought to quash a trial court order requiring her to answer the plaintiff’s Boecher interrogatories seeking information concerning the financial relationship, if any, between the defendant’s attorney, liability insurer, and medical experts.  The Fifth DCA concluded that the relief sought by the defendant was precluded by the Florida Supreme Court’s decision in Worley v. Central Florida Young Men's Christian Association, 228 So. 3d 18 (Fla. 2017), but noted that it has explained in previous decisions that current Florida law does not treat personal injury plaintiffs and defendants equally when it comes to disclosures of relationships between law firms and medical experts, citing Barnes v. Sanabria, 45 Fla. L. Weekly D135 (Fla. 5th DCA Jan. 17, 2020); Younkin v. Blackwelder, 44 Fla. L. Weekly D549 (Fla. 5th DCA Feb. 22, 2019). The Court again certified the following question to the Florida Supreme Court as one of great importance: WHETHER THE ANALYSIS AND DECISION IN WORLEY SHOULD ALSO APPLY TO PRECLUDE A DEFENDANT'S LIABILITY INSURER OR DEFENDANT'S RETAINED COUNSEL, NEITHER OF WHOM IS A PARTY TO THE LITIGATION, FROM HAVING TO DISCLOSE THEIR FINANCIAL RELATIONSHIP WITH THE DEFENDANT'S PHYSICIAN EXPERTS?

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