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SnakebyteXX
04-29-2005, 04:49 AM
By John Coté
Staff Writer
Posted April 29 2005

The Florida Supreme Court Thursday denied an appeal from Rush Limbaugh, removing a hurdle for Palm Beach County prosecutors to use the conservative talk show host's medical records as they investigate his prescription drug use.

The court, in a 4-3 decision, declined to review the case, letting stand a lower court ruling that the medical records were seized legally. The two-paragraph decision denied a rehearing, leaving Limbaugh with few if any options for appeal.

Prosecutors used search warrants to seize Limbaugh's medical records in 2003 as they probed whether he "doctor shopped," illegally visiting multiple doctors to receive duplicate prescriptions. Limbaugh has not been charged with a crime.

His attorney, Roy Black, had argued the seizure violated state law and infringed on Limbaugh's privacy rights.

"I have said from the start that there was no violation of the doctor shopping statute, but that Rush Limbaugh should not have to give up his right to privacy in order to prove his innocence," Black said in the statement.

"Mr. Limbaugh appropriately sought treatment for severe back pain and for pain from an operation to restore his hearing. He has not been charged with a crime, and he should not be charged."

Prosecutors have said in court filings the investigation was stymied until they gain access to the medical records.

The legal battle over the 54-year-old Palm Beach resident's medical records flourished shortly after prosecutors used a search warrant to seize the documents in November 2003 from doctors in Florida and California.

Records from one pharmacy near Limbaugh's Palm Beach mansion show that during a six-month period in 2003, the talk show host picked up hundreds of addictive painkiller pills prescribed to him by four doctors, court documents state.


link (http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/local/broward/sfl-cprush29apr29,0,3931338.story?coll=sfla-news-broward)