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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Virginia Arriola was a patient at Sunnybrook Health Care Center, where she suffered from repeated falls, and where she was allegedly sexually assaulted by another patient Gabriel Vela. Arriola and Vela have since died. Virginia’s family and estate sued the hospital. They said the hospital knew that Vela had previously assaulted and had engaged in nonconsensual sexual behavior with other hospital residents and staff. During employee depositions, whenever questions relating to Vela arose, the hospital asserted physician-patient privilege. It refused to produce some documents for the same reason. The family filed a motion to compel, arguing that the hospital had released Vela’s records in connection with another lawsuit and so any privilege had been waived. Alternatively, the family argued that this case falls within one of two exceptions to the physician-patient privilege (one for health-care litigation and one for abuse and neglect cases). In response to the motion, the hospital and other defendants requested an order prohibiting further inquired into Vela’s health records. The trial court granted the motion for a protective order, and denied the motion to compel. The protective order barred further inquiry into the “protected health information, medical condition, care and treatment, and/or personal and clinical information” of any hospital resident other than Arriola without the resident’s approval. The family seeks a writ of mandamus. HOLDING:Writ conditionally granted. The court confirms that T.R.Evid. 509 generally governs the physician-patient privilege in civil cases, and that T.R.Evid. 510 generally governs the confidentiality of mental health information in civil cases. The court also confirms that both rules contain an exception “in any proceeding regarding the abuse or neglect, or the cause of any abuse or neglect, of the resident” of an institution as defined by another code section. Though the information sought by the family falls within the protections of the two rules, it also “falls squarely” within the abuse-and-neglect exceptions to these rules. “Not only are the proceedings about the abuse and neglect of a nursing facility resident,” the court adds, “but the information sought also directly pertains to the allegations of abuse by Vela.” The court then addresses the hospital’s arguments. First, the hospital argues that the abuse-and-neglect exceptions apply only to proceedings brought by appropriate law enforcement agencies. The court finds no such limitation in the rules. The exceptions refer to “any proceeding.” Next, the hospital argues that several state statutes and administrative rules protect the records and medical information from disclosure. The court agrees that there are several confidentiality and privilege provisions that might apply, but that each one also contains an exception to nondisclosure where release of the information is required by law. Here, “the law” is the rules of evidence. Third, the hospital argues that this court reached a different conclusion in In re Diversicare General Partner Inc., 41 S.W.3d 788 (Tex.App. � Corpus Christi 2001, orig. proceeding). In that case, the court reviewed various provisions of the Health & Safety, Human Resource and Administrative Codes to conclude that the trial court there had abused its discretion in ordering certain records to be produced. The court points out that the rules of evidence were not at issue in Diversicare, and “to the extent our decision in Diversicare can be read as inconsistent with our analysis in this case, we overrule Diversicare.” After confirming, too, that the family has no adequate remedy at law, the court conditionally grants the writ and orders the trial court to vacate its orders. The court also urges the trial court to keep in mind the highly sensitive nature of the information in allowing its release. OPINION:Rogelio Valdez, C.J.; en banc.

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