Florida Senate - 2017                                     SB 518
       By Senator Gibson
       6-00512A-17                                            2017518__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to elder abuse fatality review teams;
    3         creating s. 825.107, F.S.; defining the term “elder
    4         abuse fatality review team”; authorizing the
    5         establishment of elder abuse fatality review teams to
    6         review fatal and near-fatal incidents of elder abuse;
    7         specifying the duties and purpose of review teams;
    8         providing immunity from liability for acts conducted
    9         in furtherance of a review team’s duties; exempting
   10         certain information and records acquired by a review
   11         team from discovery or introduction into evidence in
   12         specified actions or proceedings; prohibiting a person
   13         from being required to testify regarding records or
   14         information produced or presented during meetings or
   15         other activities of a review team; assigning the
   16         review teams to the Department of Children and
   17         Families for administrative purposes; providing an
   18         effective date.
   20  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   22         Section 1. Section 825.107, Florida Statutes, is created to
   23  read:
   24         825.107 Elder abuse fatality review teams.—
   25         (1) As used in this section, the term “elder abuse fatality
   26  review team” means an organization that may include, but is not
   27  limited to, the following persons or employees, members, or
   28  representatives of the following agencies, programs, industries,
   29  or organizations:
   30         (a) Law enforcement agencies.
   31         (b) The office of the state attorney.
   32         (c) A medical examiner.
   33         (d) The office of court administration.
   34         (e) The clerk of the court.
   35         (f) Victim services programs.
   36         (g) The State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program.
   37         (h) Adult protective services providers.
   38         (i) Aging resource centers.
   39         (j) The business community.
   40         (k) County probation or corrections agencies.
   41         (l) The Agency for Health Care Administration.
   42         (m) Certified domestic violence centers.
   43         (n) An advocacy organization for victims of sexual
   44  violence.
   45         (o) A funeral director.
   46         (p) A forensic pathologist.
   47         (q) A geriatrician.
   48         (r) A geriatric nurse.
   49         (s) A geriatric psychiatrist or other individual licensed
   50  to offer mental health counseling.
   51         (t) A hospital discharge planner.
   52         (u) An emergency services provider, including firefighters,
   53  paramedics, emergency medical technicians, or other first
   54  responders.
   55         (v) A health care provider, including a licensed physician
   56  or dentist.
   57         (w) A public guardian.
   58         (x) Any other persons who have knowledge regarding
   59  fatalities or nonlethal incidents of elder abuse, domestic
   60  violence, or sexual violence, including research, policy, law,
   61  and other matters connected with such incidents.
   62         (y) Other representatives as determined by the review team.
   63         (2) An elder abuse fatality review team may be established
   64  at a local, regional, or state level in order to review fatal
   65  and near-fatal incidents of elder abuse and other acts of
   66  neglect or violence against the elderly. The review may include
   67  a review of events leading up to an incident, available
   68  community resources, current laws and policies, actions taken by
   69  systems and individuals related to the incident and the parties,
   70  and any information or action deemed relevant by the team. The
   71  purpose of the team is to learn how to prevent elder abuse by
   72  intervening early and improving the response of an individual
   73  and the system to elder abuse. The team may determine the number
   74  and type of incidents it wishes to review and shall make policy
   75  and other recommendations as to how incidents of elder abuse may
   76  be prevented.
   77         (3)(a) There may be no monetary liability on the part of,
   78  and a cause of action for damages may not arise against, any
   79  member of an elder abuse fatality review team or any person
   80  acting as a witness for, incident reporter to, or investigator
   81  for an elder abuse fatality review team for any act or
   82  proceeding undertaken or performed within the scope of the
   83  team’s duties, unless such person acted in bad faith, with
   84  malicious purpose, or in a manner exhibiting wanton and willful
   85  disregard of human rights, safety, or property.
   86         (b) This subsection does not affect the provisions of s.
   87  768.28.
   88         (4) All information and records acquired by an elder abuse
   89  fatality review team are not subject to discovery or
   90  introduction into evidence in any civil or criminal action or
   91  administrative or disciplinary proceeding by any department or
   92  employing agency if the information or records arose out of
   93  matters that are the subject of evaluation and review by the
   94  elder abuse fatality review team. However, information,
   95  documents, and records otherwise available from other sources
   96  are not immune from discovery or introduction into evidence
   97  solely because the information, documents, or records were
   98  presented to or reviewed by such a team. A person who has
   99  attended a meeting of an elder abuse fatality review team may
  100  not testify in any civil, criminal, administrative, or
  101  disciplinary proceeding as to any records or information
  102  produced or presented to the team during meetings or other
  103  activities authorized by this section. This subsection does not
  104  preclude any person who testifies before a team or who is a
  105  member of a team from testifying as to matters otherwise within
  106  his or her knowledge.
  107         (5) The elder abuse fatality review teams are assigned to
  108  the Department of Children and Families for administrative
  109  purposes.
  110         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2017.