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Frivolous Medical Malpractice Suits Uncommon

A new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that frivolous medical malpractice lawsuits are rare – a conclusion that squarely contradicts claims that the civil justice system is rife with such cases.

The report comes on the heels of recent public debate over the rising cost of malpractice insurance premiums, which advocates of capping malpractice verdicts attribute to frivolous lawsuits and skyrocketing jury awards.

According to the research, however, such claims are overblown.

Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health examined 1,452 randomly selected lawsuits and discovered that the majority of malpractice claims were meritorious. More specifically, 97 percent of the lawsuits involved injury and 80 percent of those resulted in major disability or death.

In fact, the study revealed a problem far greater than the threat of unmerited claims flooding the courts. One in six individuals who suffer injury as the result of medical negligence receive no compensation at all. Moreover, some patients never even sue.

The study ultimately supports the reality that people who file lawsuits citing medical negligence rarely do so frivolously and those who do are usually dismissed without compensation.

Last week, the Senate upheld patient rights when it rejected placing limits on jury awards in medical malpractice lawsuits.

Contact us If you believe you or a loved one has been victimized by medical malpractice.


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