The relationship between defendants’ insurance companies and the companies’ expert witnesses is discoverable and not subject to the same protections given to plaintiff attorneys who refer clients to medical providers, according to the Florida Supreme Court.

In two separate opinions involving appeals from the Fourth and Fifth district courts of appeal, the court majority on October 14 said its opinion in Worley v. Central Florida Young Men’s Christian Ass’n, 228 So. 3d 18 (Fla. 2017), applied only to plaintiffs and treating medical providers and not defendants. Justice Ricky Polston dissented in both cases, saying Worley was erroneously decided and should be overturned.

In Worley, the court said the defense could not seek discovery information about the relationship between plaintiff attorneys and medical providers to whom they referred to clients, finding that was protected by attorney-client privilege.