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Sunday, February 12, 2017

JANELLE BRUGALETTA VS. CALIXTO GARCIA, D.O., ET AL. A-4342-15T1


JANELLE BRUGALETTA VS. CALIXTO GARCIA, D.O., ET AL.
          A-4342-15T1
In this interlocutory appeal, the court reverses the trial court's order piercing the self-critical analysis privilege under the Patient Safety Act, N.J.S.A. 26:2H-12.25(g). The trial court pierced the privilege because defendant hospital failed to report to plaintiff or the Department of Health that plaintiff suffered a "serious preventable adverse event" (SPAE), see N.J.S.A. 26:2H-12.25(a) as the Act required. See N.J.S.A. 26:2H-12.25(c), -12.25(d). In reversing, the appellate panel holds that the self-critical analysis privilege is conditioned solely on compliance with statutory and regulatory mandates governing formation of a patient safety plan and related procedural requirements. N.J.S.A. 26:2H-12.25(g). Furthermore, there was insufficient evidence of causation to support the trial court's finding of a SPAE. Specifically missing was expert evidence that any serious adverse event occurred "because of an error or other system failure." N.J.S.A. 26:2H-12.25(a).