In this medical malpractice case, a mother sued a hospital on behalf of her daughter, who was born with serious injuries. As an initial disclosure in discovery, the mother turned over the medical records connected to her pregnancy and a previous pregnancy. The trial judge, however, ordered the mother to sign a release allowing the defendants to obtain all of the mother’s medical records for a five-year period. The mother contended that this broad discovery order violated her right of privacy and deprived her of the opportunity to claim that any particular records were privileged and not relevant to the issues in the lawsuit. The Colorado Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal of the discovery order. The ACLU of Colorado submitted an amicus brief to argue that the constitutional right of privacy, recognized in the physician-patient evidentiary privilege, should guide the court’s consideration of the scope of discovery into a plaintiff’s medical records. In a decision issued In March, 2008, the court agreed that the discovery order was overbroad.  Carnenas v. Jerath, 180 P.3d 415 (Colo. 2008).

ACLU case number



Anna Natividad Martinez; Daniel Wartell

Case number

07-SA-150, Colorado Supreme Court