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149270 - Krusac v Covenant Medical Center

John Krusac, Personal Representative of the Estate of Dorothy Krusac,
 
Mark Granzotto
Carlene J. Reynolds
 
Plaintiff-Appellee,
 
v
(Appeal from Ct of Appeals)
 
 
(Saginaw – Borchard, F.)
 
Covenant Medical Center, Inc., d/b/a Covenant Medical Center-Harrison, d/b/a Covenant Healthcare,
 
Thomas R. Hall
 
Defendant-Appellant.
 

Summary

Records, data, and knowledge collected by a hospital for the purpose of review by a peer review committee is confidential and protected from discovery pursuant to MCL 333.20175 and MCL 333.21515; this is known as the peer review privilege. In Harrison v Munson Healthcare, Inc., the Court of Appeals held that the factual background portion of a peer review report is not subject to the statutory peer review privilege. In this case, relying on Harrison, the trial court ordered the defendant hospital to produce the first page of its internal improvement report to the plaintiff for use in the medical malpractice lawsuit. 
 
The defendant hospital filed an application for leave to appeal to the Court of Appeals, which was denied. The defendant then filed an application in the Supreme Court, which was granted.  The Supreme Court directed the parties to address (1) whether Harrison v Munson Healthcare, Inc. erred in its analysis of the scope of the peer review privilege; and (2) whether the trial court erred when it ordered the defendant to produce the first page of the improvement report based on its conclusion that “objective facts gathered contemporaneously with an event do not fall within the definition of peer review privilege.”