Appeals Address Work-Product Privilege and a Doctor's Hospital Privileges

By FindLaw Staff on March 05, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

The California Court of Appeal for the Fifth District decided a wrongful death suit against the State of California and a case brought by a doctor against hospitals and others for revoking the doctor's staff membership and hospital privileges.

In Coito v. Sup. Ct., No. F057690, the court faced a challenge to the denial of plaintiff's motion to compel in her wrongful death action against the State of Calfornia and other defendants for the drowning death of her 13-year old son in a river.  At issue was whether statement of the juvenile witnsess at the scene, taken in writing or recorded, by an attorney or someone on behalf of the attorney, is entitled to the protection of the California work-product privilege.  In reversing the denial, the court held that witness statements, whether written or recorded, and whether taken by counsel or turned over by witnesses are not attorney work product. 

In Smith v. Adventist Health Sys. No. F055923, the court faced a challenge to a grant of a preliminary injunction in a doctor's case against a hospital group for rejecting his application for staff membership and hospital privileges.  In affirming the injunction, the court concluded that the trial court did not err in finding that a statutorily required injunction bond had been waived, in finding that the plaintiff was likely to prevail on the merits, and that the court appropriately balanced the relative interim harms. 

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