The ongoing question of medical malpractice and insurance Co's which is creating the concern? This is an interesting article from the past yet still timely today shared with you by Rieback Medical Legal Consultants.
My interview series continues, this time with local litigation attorney Andrew Thompson, Esq. The topic this time is medical malpractice. I asked him a bunch of questions. He answered. See what you think.
1. In your opinion, is there a medical malpractice crisis in this country?
No. This is not even a close issue. The concept of a “crisis” or dramatic increase in the number of medical malpractice cases is a fabrication created by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the insurance industry. High-priced public relations firms have been hired to disseminate this message to the general public to generate support for tort reform bills. For the most part, the effort has been successful. The average person firmly believes there is a crisis, and tort reform bills have been passed in many States, including Ohio in 2003.
The Supreme Court of Ohio maintains statistics on civil (non-criminal) cases filed in the State. The following is a list of new cases filed statewide in Ohio from 2000 to 2011 that are classified as “professional torts.” Professional torts include not only medical malpractice claims against doctors, but also claims against lawyers and/or accountants. 2000 – 2,704 cases; 2001 – 2,650 cases; 2002 – 2,972 cases; 2003 – 2,683 cases; 2004 – 2,250 cases; 2005 – 1,908 cases; 2006 – 1,502 cases; 2007 – 1,483 cases; 2008 – 1,411 cases; 2009 – 1,368 cases; 2010 – 1,422 cases; and 2011 – 1,230 cases. As a percentage of all civil cases filed in Ohio, professional torts represent about 0.25% to 0.5% of the total.
As these numbers make clear, the number of malpractice cases filed in Ohio was never at a level which indicated a problem with our justice system, even before the passage of tort reform. This impression grew because of the amount of money invested by the insurance lobby and the Chamber of Commerce into their “public relations” budgets, not because of the reality of what was actually occurring. Consider, by comparison, the number of foreclosure cases in Ohio. In 2000, there were 35,382 new foreclosure cases filed in Common Pleas courts statewide; by 2010, that number grew to 85,483. Those numbers may actually indicate a problem, however there are not many lobbyists pushing for a bill to limit the banks’ access to the courtroom when they have been “wronged.”