Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
Million-dollar medical malpractice verdicts have doubled since 1996. They now make up 8 percent of all malpractice claims actually paid. This, at the same time that verdicts for the defense remain the norm and the number of lawsuit filings has actually fallen somewhat. Why? The quick — and partially correct — answer is that the cost of health care has skyrocketed. If a three-year-old must breathe on a respirator for the rest of her life, which is expected to last at least 25 years, she’ll need a bigger award to cover the cost of that care. But the truly big verdicts are due to something else. It’s called a paradigm shift. Changes in the law, the tools available to plaintiffs lawyers and the attitudes of potential jurors have altered the playing field for doctors being sued. And they don’t seem to have caught on. Instead of changing how they approach litigation, doctors want to cap malpractice awards. Senate Republicans failed to get enough votes to break a mainly Democratic filibuster of just such a bill. The proposed legislation, which has already passed the House, would cap pain-and-suffering damages at $250,000 and limit punitive damages to $250,000 or twice the compensatory damages for economic loss, whichever is greater. Of course, that loss was not the end of the damages cap. Doctors, hospitals, insurance companies and tort reformers will keep pushing it. But their effort is a mere bandage for a serious wound. It won’t cure the medical malpractice “crisis.” Big verdicts will keep getting bigger until doctors face what’s really going wrong in court. JURIES’ FOCUS

This content has been archived. It is available exclusively through our partner LexisNexis®.

To view this content, please continue to Lexis Advance®.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber? Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® is now the exclusive third party online distributor of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® customers will be able to access and use ALM's content by subscribing to the LexisNexis® services via Lexis Advance®. This includes content from the National Law Journal®, The American Lawyer®, Law Technology News®, The New York Law Journal® and Corporate Counsel®, as well as ALM's other newspapers, directories, legal treatises, published and unpublished court opinions, and other sources of legal information.

ALM's content plays a significant role in your work and research, and now through this alliance LexisNexis® will bring you access to an even more comprehensive collection of legal content.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]


ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2020 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.