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Santiago v. Baker
Florida District Court of Appeal
135 So. 3d 569 (2014)
Leydiana Santiago (plaintiff) was a patient of Dr. Marisa Baker and Women’s Care Florida, LLC, operating under the name Lifetime Obstetrics and Gynecology (Lifetime) (defendants). Santiago was taking a specific drug to treat a chronic underlying medical condition. When Santiago became a patient at Lifetime, she informed the staff that she was trying to have a child. Santiago stopped taking her medication while attempting to conceive. Santiago also signed an arbitration agreement covering medical-malpractice claims. Eventually, Santiago received a positive result from an at-home pregnancy test, but when she visited Lifetime, the staff told her that the pregnancy was not viable. On this advice, Santiago chose to resume taking her medication. However, Santiago ended up giving birth to a child who suffered severe birth defects because of the medication. Santiago and her husband (plaintiff) filed suit in Florida state court against Lifetime, alleging medical malpractice. Lifetime moved to compel arbitration under its arbitration agreement. The trial court granted Lifetime’s motion, and Santiago appealed to the Florida District Court of Appeal. Santiago claimed that the arbitration agreement violated the public policy behind Florida’s medical-malpractice statutes and that the statutes required all malpractice claims to be resolved through voluntary arbitration or by trial.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (LaRose, J.)
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