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The Florida Statutes

The 2016 Florida Statutes

Title XXIX
PUBLIC HEALTH
Chapter 401
MEDICAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND TRANSPORTATION
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F.S. 401.425
401.425 Emergency medical services quality assurance; immunity from liability.
(1) As used in this section, the term “emergency medical review committee” or “committee” means a committee of:
(a) An emergency medical service provider, a local or regional trauma agency as provided in s. 395.401, a quality assurance committee as provided in s. 401.265, or a local emergency medical services advisory council;
(b) A hospital licensed under chapter 395 which is directly responsible for a licensed emergency medical service provider; or
(c) The department, or employees, agents, or consultants of the department.
(2) An emergency medical review committee may review and evaluate the professional medical competence of emergency medical technicians and paramedics under the jurisdiction of such committee.
(3)(a) There shall be no monetary liability on the part of, and no cause of action shall arise against, any person, including any person acting as a witness, incident reporter to, or investigator for, an emergency medical review committee for any act or proceeding undertaken or performed within the scope of the functions of any emergency medical review committee if such action is taken without intentional fraud or malice.
(b) The provisions of this section shall not affect the provisions of s. 768.28.
(4) Except as provided in subsection (3), this section shall not be construed to confer immunity from liability on any person while performing services other than as a member of an emergency medical review committee, or upon any person acting as a witness, incident reporter to, or investigator for, an emergency medical review committee for any act or proceeding undertaken or performed outside the scope of the functions of such committee.
(5) The records obtained or produced by a committee providing quality assurance activities as described in subsections (1)-(4) are exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution, and committee proceedings and meetings regarding quality assurance activities are exempt from the provisions of s. 286.011 and s. 24(b), Art. I of the State Constitution. The investigations, proceedings, and records of a committee providing quality assurance activities as described in subsections (1)-(4) shall not be subject to discovery or introduction into evidence in any civil action or disciplinary proceeding by the department or employing agency arising out of matters which are the subject of evaluation and review by the committee, and no person who was in attendance at a meeting of such committee shall be permitted or required to testify in any such civil action or disciplinary proceeding as to any evidence or other matters produced or presented during the proceedings of such committee or as to any findings, recommendations, evaluations, opinions, or other actions of such committee or any members thereof. However, information, documents, or records provided to the committee from sources external to the committee are not immune from discovery or use in any such civil action or disciplinary proceeding merely because they were presented during proceedings of such committee nor should any person who testifies before a committee or who is a member of such committee be prevented from testifying as to matters within the person’s knowledge, but, such witness shall not be asked about his or her testimony before a committee or information obtained from or opinions formed by him or her as a result of participating in activities conducted by a committee.
(6) If the defendant prevails in an action brought by a health care provider against any person who initiated, participated in, was a witness in, or conducted any review as authorized by this section, the court shall award reasonable attorney’s fees and costs to the defendant.
(7) For the purpose of any disciplinary proceeding conducted by the department, the department shall have the power to issue subpoenas which shall compel the production of information, documents, or records from an Emergency Medical Review Committee. Challenges to, and enforcement of, the subpoenas and orders shall be handled as provided in s. 120.569.
History.s. 16, ch. 89-275; s. 14, ch. 89-283; s. 71, ch. 89-374; s. 1, ch. 90-192; s. 72, ch. 92-289; s. 2, ch. 93-12; s. 801, ch. 95-148; s. 1, ch. 95-384; s. 235, ch. 96-406; s. 127, ch. 96-410.