Cawthorn v. Catholic Health Initiatives Iowa Corp.

Patient filed suit against Doctor for malpractice and Hospital for negligent credentialing. During trial, Hospital produced Doctor's credentialing file, which was admitted into evidence. The jury returned a verdict in favor of Patient. The Supreme Court reversed, concluding that evidence admitted at trial concerning Doctor's disciplinary hearing was confidential and should have been excluded. Meanwhile, the court of appeals decided Day v. Finley Hospital, which held that the contents of a credentialing file fell within Iowa Code 147.135's peer review protection. On remand, Hospital filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that Doctor's previously produced credentialing file was inadmissible and that, without the documents, Patient lacked sufficient evidence to establish a prima facie case. The district court granted the motion. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the law of the case did not bar Hospital from objecting to the use of Doctor's credentialing file on remand for retrial because the Court's earlier opinion did not expressly or impliedly decide the admissibility of the credentialing file; and (2) section 147.135(2) sets forth not only a privilege but a separate rule of inadmissibility, so principles of waiver did not foreclose the district court from revisiting the admissibility of the credentialing file. View "Cawthorn v. Catholic Health Initiatives Iowa Corp." on Justia Law