Georgia M.D.’s Medical Report Indicating Claimant Was Threat to Doctor and Staff Not Libelous

Where an patient’s treating physician dictated a narrative report that became part of the patient’s worker’s compensation claim file indicating that the patient, through a translator, had made threatening statements during an appointment and that the doctor considered the patient a threat to the doctor and the doctor’s staff, such a statement was privileged as a matter of law and could not serve as a basis for a claim of libel, held a Georgia appellate court yesterday in Jasarevic v. Foster, 2016 Ga. App. LEXIS 26 (Jan. 26, 2016).

The court affirmed the trial court’s dismissal of the patient’s civil action complaint in which the plaintiff claimed the doctor had committed libel by falsely accusing him of committing a crime. The court held that the doctor’s statements in the medical record were pertinent and material to the patient’s workers’ compensation claim and were not libelous, as a matter of law.

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