Anita J. Howard, Appellant,
Shelly R. Svoboda, M.D., et al., Respondents.
of Appeals Office of Appellate Courts
Patrick Stoneking, Eric J. Magnuson, Lisa Lodin Peralta,
Brandon Thompson, Robins Kaplan LLP, Minneapolis, Minnesota;
and Richard E. Bosse, Law Office of Richard E. Bosse,
Chartered, Henning, Minnesota, for appellant.
C. Peterson, William L. Davidson, João C. Medeiros,
Lind, Jensen, Sullivan & Peterson, P.A., Minneapolis,
Minnesota, for respondents.
A. Hallberg, Amy C. Wallace, Hallberg Law, P.A., Saint Paul,
Minnesota, for amicus curiae Minnesota Association for
R. Whitmore, Christine E. Hinrichs, Bassford Remele, P.A.,
Minneapolis, Minnesota, for amicus curiae Minnesota Medical
no part, Anderson, J.
protective order prohibiting the disclosure of information
from an informal discussion conducted under Minn. Stat.
§ 595.02, subd. 5 (2016), was not an injunction, and
thus not an appealable order, under Minnesota Rule of Civil
Appellate Procedure 103.03(b).
parties in this case seek an interpretation of Minn. Stat.
§ 595.02, subd. 5 (2016), which provides that when a
patient waives the physician-patient privilege in a health
care malpractice action, the waiver includes permission for
"informal discussions" with health care providers.
Although the issue presented is one of first impression, we
cannot reach it. Instead, we must vacate the court of
appeals' decision for lack of appellate jurisdiction
under the Minnesota Rules of Civil Appellate Procedure.
29, 2009, Anita Howard sought treatment at Noran Neurological
Clinic, P.A., for back pain due to a car accident. Dr. Shelly
Svoboda saw Howard and referred her to Dr. Mahmoud Nagib. On
August 20, 2009, Dr. Nagib performed back surgery on Howard.
Thereafter, Dr. Svoboda and her physician's assistant,
Christopher Geisler, met with Howard in the clinic on several
occasions for post-operative care, the last time being May
7, 2010, Howard awoke from a nap, unable to move her legs or
sit up in bed. She was taken to Hennepin County Medical
Center, where she was diagnosed with complete paraplegia. Dr.
Nagib identified a bacterial infection and collapse of the
vertebrae at the surgery site, but concluded that surgery to
repair the problem was too risky.
sued Dr. Svoboda, Mr. Geisler, and Noran Neurological Clinic
(Respondents), but not Dr. Nagib, for professional
negligence. Howard alleged that Respondents negligently
allowed the infection to go undiagnosed while she was in