Fact or Fiction?
September 23, 2002
“The _____ doth protest too much,
B. Insurance Industry
D. All of the above
Malpractice DOES happen and comes with a
Insurance companies DID make mistakes in the
90‟s (Remember the soft market?)
What Do Plaintiff Attorneys Say?
“The fundamental assumptions upon which
the „tort reform‟ movement is based (i.e.,
that an uncontrollable tide of „frivolous
lawsuits‟ is flooding the nation) is a fiction
that is unsupported by the facts.
“So where is the litigation explosion? Only in
the minds and skewed statistics proffered
by insurance industry spokespersons and
Bucks County (PA) attorney
Frivolous Lawsuits? – You Be the Judge
Big Guy vs Big Food
Man Who Thought He Was Dead Sues
Beagle Bites Back
Medical malpractice is the failure of a health
care provider to exercise the degree of care
required of a professional in the same type
of practice rendering comparable care under
similar circumstances and that proximately
causes injury to a patient.
For there to be a finding of malpractice
the plaintiff must show:
Existence of legal duty
Breach of duty
You Be the Judge II
You Mean I‟m Suing that Nice Doctor?
Doctor Strikes Back
Secret Deal Unraveled
More From Plaintiff Attorneys
“Med mal insurers are making a profit”
“There are far fewer lawsuits than there could
“It doesn‟t have to be negligence – it just has
to look that way”
Released June 2002 showing medical
liability insurance has:
• Reached crisis proportions in 12 states
• Is “OK” in 6 states
• Is showing problem signs in all other states
New Jersey Washington
New York West Virginia
Colorado New Mexico
Medical Economics Study
Identified states with the highest and lowest
number of lawyers per capita, who have won
$1M jury verdicts in civil litigation including
Source: Million-Dollar Advocate Forum – U.S.
Highest Number of $1M Lawyers (#)
District of Columbia (15.7) Nevada (19.5)
Florida (17.6) New Jersey (12.4)
Hawaii (10.6) Ohio (10.7)
Missouri (12.4) Pennsylvania (16)
Mississippi (11.9) West Virginia (13.3)
Lowest Number of $1M Lawyers (#)
Colorado (1.6) North Dakota (0)
Idaho (1.5) Oregon (2.0)
Indiana (2.1) South Dakota (1.3)
Nebraska (1.8) Utah (3.1)
New Mexico (1.6) Wisconsin (2.2)
So What‟s the Answer?
Who decides what is fair?
What if it happened to you?
Are we overlooking other solutions?
Something To Think About
What is the role of managed care in this