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Gary Solomon Quoted about the PRPA

January 14, 2016

Gary Solomon Quoted in Legal Intelligencer about Venosh and the PRPA

Peer Review Protection Act

Peer review is important to determine why medical tragedies occur. However, the PRPA should only provide so much protection from access to the resulting data in malpractice cases.

The Peer Review Protection Act, which we have discussed before, provides protection to hospitals and doctors when they seek to determine why a bad medical result occurred. These peer reviews are not allowed to be used in medical malpractice litigation. Insurance companies have sought to use the same protection when they review responsibility for negative medical events. The Superior Court of Pennsylvania found that it is inappropriate to expand the PRPA protections to insurance companies.  There is also a question whether the Act is relevant in our modern era and whether such protections should be accorded hospitals and medical practitioners going forward. There is, however, concern that doctors and hospitals will halt the peer review process if the protections from using this information is taken away.

In Pennsylvania, “courts are beginning to tighten the protection, creating opportunities for plaintiffs.” Courts are unwilling to provide blanket protections because that is not the original purpose of the Act. Given the fact that health care is frequently controlled by corporations, it is important for Courts to make certain that there is an appropriate balance of protection against the ability to use relevant evidence to prove medical malpractice. Gary Solomon, a lawyer at Lowenthal & Abrams was an attorney in Venosh v. Henzes, an important case which held that, “peer review initiated by an insurance company…is not privileged.” In an article by the Legal Intelligencer, Gary noted that peer review information often doesn’t meet the PRPA’s standards and so should not be protected under the Act. As a result, it is important for judges to analyze the materials insurance defense attorneys are seeking to protect and make sure they qualify for protection.

About Gary Solomon & Lowenthal & Abrams

Gary Solomon is a medical malpractice attorney with the personal injury firm of Lowenthal & Abrams. Lowenthal & Abrams has offices throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York.

View the Legal Intelligencer’s full article, Peer-Review Privilege Narrowing as Health Care Changes.

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