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California High Court Weighing Scope of State’s Free Speech Law

May 5, 2021, 7:33 PM

A whistleblowing surgeon who lost hospital privileges after complaining about a robotic surgical system’s safety and a hospital asked the California Supreme Court to clarify Wednesday how far and soon state speech protections kick in for medical peer review proceedings.

Justices questioned the breadth of protection that the hospital system argues the peer review system used to investigate and discipline doctors deserves under the state’s anti-strategic lawsuit against public protection, or SLAPP, statute. The law seeks to prevent lawsuits that chill speech made in the public interest.

The case is closely watched in the health-care industry, which argues that ...

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