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§57-5-4d. Hospital records; opening of sealed envelopes.

Unless the sealed envelope or wrapper is returned to a witness who is to appear personally, the copy of the records shall remain sealed and shall be opened only at the time of trial, deposition, or other hearing, upon the direction of the judge, court, officer, body or tribunal conducting the proceeding, in the presence of all parties who have appeared in person or by counsel at such trial, deposition or hearing. Before directing that such inner-envelope or wrapper be opened, the judge, court, officer, body or tribunal shall first ascertain that either (1) the records have been subpoenaed at the insistance of the patient involved or his counsel of record, or (2) the patient involved or someone authorized in his behalf to do so for him has consented thereto and waived any privilege of confidence involved. Records which are not introduced in evidence or required as part of the record shall be returned to the person or entity from whom received.

The provisions of this section shall not apply in a workers' compensation proceeding if the pertinent record is the record of the claimant therein or a claimant's decedent: Provided, That nothing in this section, or the preceding section, shall limit in any manner the availability of and access to documents as provided in the rules of civil procedure or elsewhere in this code by the parties to any civil action and their counsel.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2017 Regular Session
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