Download Zipped Introduced WP 9 HB0117.ZIP
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5 This act modifies provisions relating to prelitigation panels in medical malpractice
6 actions. The act allows the panel's results to be introduced in an ensuing court action
7 with explanations.
8 This act affects sections of Utah Code Annotated 1953 as follows:
10 78-14-15, as last amended by Chapter 171, Laws of Utah 1994
11 This act enacts uncodified material.
12 Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
13 Section 1. Section 78-14-15 is amended to read:
14 78-14-15. Evidence of proceedings not admissible in subsequent action -- Panelist
15 may not be compelled to testify -- Immunity of panelist from civil liability -- Information
16 regarding professional conduct.
17 (1) (a) Evidence of the proceedings conducted by the medical review panel [
19 subsequently brought by the claimant in a court of competent jurisdiction.
20 (b) (i) Notwithstanding Subsection (1)(a), a medical review panel's determination on
21 the question of whether a claim has merit or not shall be admissible as evidence in a
22 subsequent action unless it would cause substantial and undue prejudice.
23 (ii) The panel's determination shall be admitted with an explanation that:
24 (A) while each party had the same opportunity to present evidence to the panel as it
25 saw fit, the panel's determination may or may not be based on the evidence that will be
26 presented in the subsequent action;
27 (B) neither party had the opportunity to cross-examine witnesses during the panel's
28 hearing process; and
29 (C) the panel's determination has no legally binding effect on the outcome of the
30 subsequent action but is merely one item of evidence that is to be weighed and considered with
31 the rest of the evidence in the action.
32 (2) No panelist may be compelled to testify in a civil action subsequently filed with
33 regard to the subject matter of the panel's review. A panelist has immunity from civil liability
34 arising from participation as a panelist and for all communications, findings, opinions, and
35 conclusions made in the course and scope of duties prescribed by this section.
36 (3) Nothing in this chapter may be interpreted to prohibit the division from considering
37 any information contained in a statutory notice of intent to commence action, request for
38 prelitigation panel review, or written findings of a panel with respect to the division's
39 determining whether a licensee engaged in unprofessional or unlawful conduct.
40 Section 2. Purpose.
41 The purpose of this legislation is to:
42 (1) recognize the value of Utah's prelitigation process and the contribution made to the
43 process by panel members;
44 (2) encourage the parties to make a good faith effort to present meaningful evidence
45 and argument to the panel; and
46 (3) permit the trier of fact to consider the determination of the prelitigation panel on the
47 question of whether or not the case has merit.
Legislative Review Note
as of 1-28-03 6:45 AM
A limited legal review of this legislation raises no obvious constitutional or statutory concerns.