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Court: Apology expressing fault can't be used in lawsuits

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COLUMBUS — The Ohio Supreme Court has ruled that an apology by a medical provider that includes an admission of liability can't be used in a later lawsuit against the provider.

At issue in the court's Tuesday decision was the state's “apology law,” which already bars using apologies in lawsuits.

The new question before the court was whether an apology that includes an expression of fault can also be kept out of lawsuits.

Justice Sharon Kennedy wrote that under Ohio law the apology may include an acknowledgment that a patient's medical care fell below standards of care without it later being used as evidence.

The court looked at the case of a woman in Brown County in southern Ohio who died after trying to kill herself in a hospital.

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