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Recent Class Action Lawsuits Allege Improper Charges by Hospitals for Inspection and Copying of Patients' Records For Their Attorneys

June 28, 2006

By Peter M. Stone and Panteha Abdollahi

Recently, several class action lawsuits have been filed against California hospitals alleging the hospitals have violated California Evidence Code Section 1158 and therefore have committed an unfair and deceptive business practice under California’s Unfair Competition Laws. Some of these lawsuits involve hospitals who have contracted with third-parties to provide copy services. These lawsuits raise several questions, including: (1) what are the requirements imposed by California law upon hospitals or other providers? (2) can liability be avoided by contracting with third-parties? and (3) what should hospitals or other health care providers do to avoid liability?

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