Brende v. Hara - Amended Decision - Medical Privacy for Litigants
Personal Injury News Items
The Hawaii Supreme Court has issued its amended decision in the Brende v. Hara writ of mandamus proceeding. It appears to reaffirm the initial decision which granted substantial meaningful protections for litigants' personal and confidential medical information. For example, an Arbitration Judge at the trial court level, in a recent decision interpreting the amended decision in Brende, granted a Protective Order for medical information disclosed in the proceedings and refused to adopt exceptions proposed by defense counsel Matsui, Chung which would have swallowed all privacy protections whole. Using comments found in footnote 6 of the Supreme Court's opinion, defense counsel argued that the Protective Order should have had an exception that it not affect "the maintenance and record keeping obligations, requirements or practices of any insurance carrier or law firm involved in this proceeding". Since big insurance has had the objectionable "practice" of databasing confidential medical information about Hawaii litigants for years, they would have used this as an excuse to continue to do so contrary to HIIPA and the Hawaii Supreme Court's expressed result. See the amended Brende v. Hara decision here.
Game Truck Georgia was recently hit with a $4.7 million judgment for injuries arising out of a game of "bubble soccer". But this was after they had pleaded with their insurer to settle those same claims for a pretrial offer of $1 million - which was within their policy limits. Their insurer, Atlantic Specialty Insurance, declined those offers and forced the case to trial. Now the attorneys for Game Truck Georgia are chasing their own insurance company for its bad faith refusal to settle - a refusal which led to the insolvency and desctruction of their business.
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