Section 766.309, Florida Statutes 2003
1766.309 Determination of claims; presumption; findings of administrative law judge binding on participants.--
(1) The administrative law judge shall make the following determinations based upon all available evidence:
(a) Whether the injury claimed is a birth-related neurological injury. If the claimant has demonstrated, to the satisfaction of the administrative law judge, that the infant has sustained a brain or spinal cord injury caused by oxygen deprivation or mechanical injury and that the infant was thereby rendered permanently and substantially mentally and physically impaired, a rebuttable presumption shall arise that the injury is a birth-related neurological injury as defined in s. 766.302(2).
(b) Whether obstetrical services were delivered by a participating physician in the course of labor, delivery, or resuscitation in the immediate postdelivery period in a hospital; or by a certified nurse midwife in a teaching hospital supervised by a participating physician in the course of labor, delivery, or resuscitation in the immediate postdelivery period in a hospital.
(c) How much compensation, if any, is awardable pursuant to s. 766.31.
(2) If the administrative law judge determines that the injury alleged is not a birth-related neurological injury or that obstetrical services were not delivered by a participating physician at the birth, she or he shall enter an order and shall cause a copy of such order to be sent immediately to the parties by registered or certified mail.
(3) By becoming a participating physician, a physician shall be bound for all purposes by the finding of the administrative law judge or any appeal therefrom with respect to whether such injury is a birth-related neurological injury.
(4) If it is in the interest of judicial economy or if requested to by the claimant, the administrative law judge may bifurcate the proceeding addressing compensability and notice pursuant to s. 766.316 first, and addressing an award pursuant to s. 766.31, if any, in a separate proceeding. The administrative law judge may issue a final order on compensability and notice which is subject to appeal under s. 766.311, prior to issuance of an award pursuant to s. 766.31.
History.--s. 68, ch. 88-1; s. 4, ch. 89-186; s. 21, ch. 91-46; s. 3, ch. 94-106; s. 312, ch. 96-410; s. 1805, ch. 97-102; s. 77, ch. 2003-416.
1Note.--Section 86, ch. 2003-416, provides that "[i]t is the intent of the Legislature to apply the provisions of this act to prior medical incidents, to the extent such application is not prohibited by the State Constitution or Federal Constitution, except that the changes to chapter 766, Florida Statutes, shall apply only to any medical incident for which a notice of intent to initiate litigation is mailed on or after the effective date of this act."