Legal news for Pennsylvania medical malpractice attorneys – A report from PA Chief Justice Castille states medical malpractice lawsuits have dropped for the fifth year in a row.
Med-mal suits down, jury awards lower, according to new report.
Philadelphia, PA (www.NewYorkInjuryNews.com) – A report from Pennsylvania Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille was released Tuesday, April 20, 2010, declaring the number of new medical malpractice lawsuits has declined for the fifth year in a row, as reported by The Philadelphia Enquirer.
Castille’s report provides new evidence that the frenzy for malpractice suits has calmed since its upstart at the beginning of the decade.
According to the report, Philadelphia, once considered the center of the malpractice suit epidemic, saw dramatic declines in the number of suits filed and the size of awards allotted. There has also been a substantial rise in defense verdicts.
Since 2002, Philadelphia medical malpractice suits have dropped 64 percent, from 1,364 in 2002 to 491 in 2009.
Doctors and hospitals who battled cases in court did relatively well, winning 85 percent of the cases statewide and 79 percent of the suits in Philadelphia.
Pennsylvania juries have become less likely to award enormous sums, as well. In 2009, 12 of the 154 cases that resulted in fiscal rewards allotted sums of $1 million or more. Between 2000-2004, there were 119 verdicts where Pennsylvania juries awarded sums over $1 million. Of the 119 verdicts, 14 awarded more than $10 million. Of the 14, nine were in Philly.
In 2002, Pennsylvania legislature passed a measure aimed at limiting the number of medical malpractice suits and reducing medical errors titled Act 13.
In 2003 Pennsylvania Supreme Court declared that medical-malpractice suits must be filed in the county where the supposed injury occurred. The court also demanded plaintiffs obtain a doctor-issued certificate stating negligence occurred.
A spokesman for the Pennsylvania Medical Society, a group that represents doctors, said, “This [decline in lawsuits] is a good sign. Something must be working.”
Legal News Reporter: Tara Monks – Legal news for Pennsylvania medical malpractice lawyers.