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Colorado Supreme Court Opinions
November 7, 2011

No. 10SA373. In re Ortega v. Colorado Permanente Medical Group, P.C.
Physician–Patient Privilege—Health Maintenance Organization—Confidentiality Requirements.
The Supreme Court held that CRS § 13-90-107(1)(d)(I) provides an exception to the physician–patient privilege codified in CRS § 13-90-107(1)(d). The exception applies when a patient institutes an action against a physician, and that action arises out of or is connected with the physician’s care or treatment of the patient. In that instance, the information acquired by the physician is not privileged.

The Court also held that CRS § 10-16-423 does not govern the physician–patient privilege; instead, it governs the confidentiality of health maintenance organization (HMO) members’ information. CRS § 10-16-423 controls the confidentiality of enrollee information provided to HMOs by enrollees and medical providers, and contains an exception for the disclosure of relevant information in the event a claim or litigation occurs between the HMO and the enrollee.

Finally, the Court held that the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it denied plaintiff’s motion for a protective order and determined that plaintiff’s electronic medical record was relevant to preparing a defense. Accordingly, the Court discharged the rule to show cause.

No. 11SA66. In re Averyt v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Civil Procedure—Automatic Disclosure—Public Documents.

The Supreme Court held in this original proceeding that a party need not automatically disclose, pursuant to C.R.C.P. 26(a)(1), public documents that are equally available to all parties. The Court also held that sufficient evidence supports the jury’s damages verdict in this case. The Court therefore made the rule absolute and reversed the trial court’s order granting Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. a new trial.

Colorado Supreme Court Opinions

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