Terre Haute Regional Hosp., Inc. v. Trueblood, No. 61A04-9107-CV-223

Docket NºNo. 61A04-9107-CV-223
Citation579 N.E.2d 1342
Case DateOctober 22, 1991
CourtCourt of Appeals of Indiana

Page 1342

579 N.E.2d 1342
TERRE HAUTE REGIONAL HOSPITAL, INC. and Hospital Corporation
of America, Appellants-Defendants,
v.
Linda S. TRUEBLOOD, Appellee-Plaintiff.
No. 61A04-9107-CV-223. 1
Court of Appeals of Indiana,
First District.
Oct. 22, 1991.

John D. Nell, Martha W. Irwin, Wooden, McLaughlin & Sterner, Indianapolis, for appellants-defendants.

Mary A. Findling, Scott A. Weathers, Price & Barker, Indianapolis, Gary Hanner,

Page 1344

Hanner, Hanner & Hanner, Rockville, Eric A. Frey, Frey, Hunt, Hassler & Lorenz, Terre Haute, for appellee-plaintiff.

ROBERTSON, Judge.

The Terre Haute Regional Hospital Inc. and its parent corporation, the Hospital Corporation of America, [THRH] bring this interlocutory appeal challenging the trial court's order compelling the discovery of the medical records of approximately eight hundred (800) patients who are not parties to this lawsuit. THRH raises three issues, but; because one demands that we reverse, we address it only. It is:

Whether the trial court may compel the discovery of the medical records of nonparty patients who have not waived their physician-patient privilege when all information regarding the identities of these patients has been redacted from the records?

FACTS

The plaintiff, Linda S. Trueblood, brought this action against THRH alleging that Dr. Manuel Cacdac, a staff physician at THRH, performed two unnecessary surgeries on her back and neck in 1980 and 1981. Trueblood alleges that THRH was negligent in appointing and reappointing Dr. Cacdac to its staff and in supervising and monitoring Dr. Cacdac's performance. Trueblood asserts further that THRH concealed information regarding Dr. Cacdac's performance of unnecessary surgeries in order to benefit economically from these surgeries. 2

Trueblood argues that in order to succeed in her lawsuit, she must show that THRH had actual or constructive knowledge that Dr. Cacdac was performing unnecessary surgeries at THRH. She argues that in order to prove this knowledge she must have access to the medical records of all those patients similarly situated to her who received surgeries performed by Dr. Cacdac at THRH.

The trial court's order which is the subject of this interlocutory appeal provides that Trueblood's attorneys and physician expert may enter THRH and inspect the unredacted hospital charts and radiographs of Dr. Cacdac's patients who underwent surgery or surgeries at THRH in the calendar years 1979, 1980, and 1981 involving cervical disc excisions and/or fusions, the lumbar spine, laminectomy, or chemonucleolysis. Before inspecting the unredacted charts, Trueblood's attorneys and physician expert must sign a confidential protective order stating that they will never disclose the names of any of the patients whose charts they inspect and will never make any effort to contact any of the patients whose charts they inspect. Before any portion of any chart can be reproduced, Trueblood must seek leave of court specifying the patient chart by its hospital identification number and specify the portion of the chart to be reproduced. The hospital will reproduce the record with the patient's identifying information (the patient's name, address, telephone number, date of birth, insurance company, religion, social security number, race and place of employment) redacted. Trueblood is to pay the costs associated with copying the records including the cost of producing copies from microfilmed radiographs.

Page 1345

DECISION

When reviewing a trial court's ruling pertaining to a discovery issue, we apply an abuse of discretion standard. DeMoss Rexall Drugs v. Dobson (1989), Ind.App., 540 N.E.2d 655. An abuse of discretion regarding a discovery matter occurs when the trial court reaches an erroneous conclusion clearly against the logic and effect of the facts of the case. CIGNA-INA/Aetna v. Hagerman-Shambaugh (1985), Ind.App., 473 N.E.2d 1033, trans. denied.

Trueblood concedes that the medical records it seeks to discover contain information protected by the physician/patient privilege codified under IND.CODE 34-1-14-5(3). When information sought is protected by the physician-patient privilege, the physician (and the hospital custodian of medical records) not only has the right but also the duty to assert the physician-patient privilege. State v. Jaggers (1987), Ind.App., 506 N.E.2d 832, trans. denied.

If information is privileged under I.C. 34-1-14-5 it falls outside...

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3 practice notes
  • Terre Haute Regional Hosp., Inc. v. Trueblood, No. 61S04-9210-CV-847
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • October 21, 1992
    ...if the patient identification information is redacted from the records. Terre Haute Regional Hosp., Inc. v. Trueblood (1991), Ind.App., 579 N.E.2d 1342. Facts Trueblood brought this action against the hospital alleging that Manuel Cacdac, M.D., a staff physician at the hospital, performed t......
  • Weichman v. Lazzaro, No. 45A03–1403–PL–81.
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • April 13, 2015
    ...decision is against the logic and effect of the facts of the case. Terre Haute Regional Hospital, Inc. v. Trueblood (1991), Ind.App., 579 N.E.2d 1342, 1345, reh'g denied. Hudgins v. McAtee, 596 N.E.2d 286, 289 (Ind.Ct.App.1992).[46] In light of the circumstances of the attempted introductio......
  • Hudgins v. McAtee, No. 49A02-9109-CV-406
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • July 29, 1992
    ...decision is against the logic and effect of the facts of the case. Terre Haute Regional Hospital, Inc. v. Trueblood (1991), Ind.App., 579 N.E.2d 1342, 1345, reh'g We do not believe that the special judge abused her discretion in extending the time in which McAtee could respond to the discov......
3 cases
  • Terre Haute Regional Hosp., Inc. v. Trueblood, No. 61S04-9210-CV-847
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • October 21, 1992
    ...if the patient identification information is redacted from the records. Terre Haute Regional Hosp., Inc. v. Trueblood (1991), Ind.App., 579 N.E.2d 1342. Facts Trueblood brought this action against the hospital alleging that Manuel Cacdac, M.D., a staff physician at the hospital, performed t......
  • Weichman v. Lazzaro, No. 45A03–1403–PL–81.
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • April 13, 2015
    ...decision is against the logic and effect of the facts of the case. Terre Haute Regional Hospital, Inc. v. Trueblood (1991), Ind.App., 579 N.E.2d 1342, 1345, reh'g denied. Hudgins v. McAtee, 596 N.E.2d 286, 289 (Ind.Ct.App.1992).[46] In light of the circumstances of the attempted introductio......
  • Hudgins v. McAtee, No. 49A02-9109-CV-406
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • July 29, 1992
    ...decision is against the logic and effect of the facts of the case. Terre Haute Regional Hospital, Inc. v. Trueblood (1991), Ind.App., 579 N.E.2d 1342, 1345, reh'g We do not believe that the special judge abused her discretion in extending the time in which McAtee could respond to the discov......

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