Texas Supreme Court Orders and Opinion - 5/22/15

Posted by Rich PhillipsThis morning, the Supreme Court of Texas issued an opinion in one argued case. Access the entire order list here.The Court issued its opinion in No. 14-0171, In re Memorial Hermann Hospital System. In a unanimous opinion by Justice Willett, the Court considered the application of the medical committee privilege and the medical peer review committee privilege to documents sought in discovery in a dispute between a heart surgeon and his former hospital. The Court agreed with the trial court’s determination that the “anticompetitive action” exemption to the medical peer review committee applied. The Court held that the exemption “applies when the plaintiff asserts a cause of action that requires proof that the conduct at issue has ‘a tendency to reduce or eliminate competition’ that is not offset by countervailing procompetitive justifications.” The Court then analyzed the documents at issue and determined that many of them could be ordered produced under the exemption. The Court also concluded that when documents are exempt from the protections of the medical peer review committee privilege, they are also exempt from the protection of the medical committee privilege.