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Jim Lewis
Jim Lewis
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Frivolous Lawsuits Flooding Courts is Just a Myth – New Study Provides Proof

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Most of us have encountered a tort reform advocate. You know who I’m talking about – an individual who places the blame for skyrocketing health care costs almost entirely on trial lawyers and alleged “frivolous” medical malpractice lawsuits inundating our courts.

Well, another study was released which refutes this tort reform argument. According to a new study by the American Medical Association, less than 5 percent of medical malpractice cases actually make it to trial. In addition, of the cases that go to trial, nearly 80 percent were judged in favor of the physician, according to valawyersweekly.com.

The study examined all claims closed by a professional liability insurer (i.e. a medical malpractice insurance company) between 2002 and 2005.

From the 5 percent of cases that actually go to trial, the study found that only 4.5 percent of all cases actually ended with a trial verdict.

So what does this all mean? Well, it means that the argument declaring our courts are flooded with baseless lawsuits is simply a myth. The truth is, our justice system is well equipped to handle medical negligence lawsuits. The proposed solution of tort reform advocates to arbitrarily cap non-economic damages as a way to assuage the influx of medical malpractice cases is shortsighted and patently unfair. Such a policy will not reduce health care costs and will only serve to line the pockets of medical malpractice insurance companies.

About the Editors: The Shapiro, Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm, which has offices in Virginia (VA) and North Carolina (NC). The attorneys publish articles and edit the Legal Examiner for the Virginia Beach, Norfolk and Northeast North Carolina regions as pro bono service.