Medical malpractice suits decline in Pennsylvania
Always good to have some hard numbers to look at instead of simply anecdotes:
The number of new malpractice suits in 2009 fell to 1,533 from 1,602 cases initiated in 2008. That marked a 47 percent decline from the 2,904 suits filed in 2002.
And in Philadelphia, new malpractice suits fell even more dramatically to 491 from 1,365 in 2002 - a 64 percent drop.
Moreover, doctors and hospitals who took cases to trial in 2009 did well, winning 85 percent of the cases statewide and 79 percent in Philadelphia. That compared with defense-victory rates of 73 percent statewide and 59 percent in Philadelphia from 2000 through 2003.
Some credit the decline to tort “reform” passed in 2002. What I would like to see is a comparison of medical errors from 2002 onward. If those have increased, it raises some serious doubts as to whether the trade-offs are worth it.