Fett v Medical Bd. of CAAnnotate this Case
The Board issued an administrative investigative subpoena seeking complete, certified records of three of plaintiff's patients on the grounds that there was good cause to believe that plaintiff departed from the standard of care in connection with the treatment of those patients. Plaintiff's petitions to quash the subpoena were denied, and the Board’s petition to compel compliance was granted in part, with the limitation that the records to be provided should be limited by time period. The court concluded that the Board had pointed out specific instances of prescribing irregularities, which were sufficient for a finding of good cause; substantial evidence supports the trial court’s finding of good cause; and there is no abuse of discretion in the trial court’s determination that Dr. Pollak was qualified to render an expert opinion in this matter. The court also concluded that plaintiff failed to convince the court that, if the evidence of medical records at issue was obtained in violation of Civil Code section 56.26, the Board was not permitted to use it in the investigation. While the trial court may not have specifically stated it was engaging in a balancing test, the long discussion of good cause shows careful consideration of the patients’ right to privacy versus the state’s interest in safeguarding its citizens from negligent medical care. Finally, the court rejected plaintiff's claim that the subpoena was overbroad where the trial court did not err in failing to modify the subpoena in more ways than it already did in applying time restrictions. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment.