Jason Azzarone was successful in arguing to the Second District Court of Appeal that the trial court did not err in granting a motion to compel arbitration in a medical malpractice lawsuit in Santiago v. Baker, — So.3d —-, 2014 WL 1396594 (Fla. 2d DCA 2014). On appeal, the Appellants argued that the arbitration agreement before the Court violated Florida’s Medical Malpractice Act, Chapter 766, Fla. Stat. (2011). Specifically, Appellants argued that the agreement violated Florida’s public policy and, based on the Florida Supreme Court’s decision in Franks v. Bowers, 116 So.3d 1240 (Fla.2013), the Medical Malpractice Act required the resolution of all malpractice claims through statutory voluntary binding arbitration or trial. Mr. Azzarone argued that the Florida Supreme Court, in its decision, did not negate the ability of parties to enter into arbitration agreements in medical malpractice cases, provided that the rights afforded to the parties in the Medical Malpractice Act were not negated by the terms of the arbitration agreement. As none of the rights afforded to the Appellants in the Medical Malpractice Act were negated by the arbitration agreement before the Court, Mr. Azzarone argued that the trial court’s order should be affirmed. The Second District Court of Appeal agreed, holding that the arbitration agreement was not void as against public policy. The Court also opined that nothing in the Florida Supreme Court’s opinion precluded private binding arbitration agreements under Florida’s Medical Malpractice Act.
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