State high court rules some hospital records can't be disclosed

SAGINAW (AP) — The Michigan Supreme Court has unanimously ruled in favor of a hospital in a dispute over access to records in a malpractice lawsuit.

The court says lawmakers have shielded so-called peer review records from disclosure. Peer review committees at hospitals review certain practices as a way to improve patient care.

In a 6-0 decision, the court ruled in a case from Saginaw County. A judge had said lawyers could see “objective facts” listed on the first page of a report about the death of a patient, Dorothy Krusac.

But the Supreme Court says Judge Fred Borchard relied on an erroneous decision by the state appeals court in a similar case.

The court says a litigant still can rely on eyewitness testimony and a patient’s medical records.