Pennsylvania News

Former insurance executive blames insurers for skyrocketing malpractice rates

“This is a crisis created by the medical malpractice insurers because of their own ineptness during the 1990s and the collapse of interest rates during the last few years.”
-former insurance executive,, 10/3/03
A former insurance executive and now employee of a firm assisting plaintiff attorneys in evaluating potential medical malpractice cases told a special legislative panel that insurers are trying to recover losses caused by bad business decisions. These poor decisions are the real reason Pennsylvania medical malpractice insurance rates have skyrocketed, not because of frivolous, high paid lawsuits according to the former insurance executive.

Doctors and insurers have continued to claim that multimillion-dollar jury awards have caused the insurance spikes, a disputed argument that still was able to pass. The former insurance exec said that while working in the insurance field he helped push in the legislature the $250,000 cap on noneconomic “pain and suffering” that was merely “window dressing”. Public Citizen consumer group had found earlier in 2003 that in an indeterminable fraction of Pennsylvania medical malpractice cases multiple payments are made on a single medical malpractice claim because Pennsylvania operates on a supplemental state insurance fund that may make payments on the same claim. The Pennsylvania medical malpractice reports were misleading, according to the group, because many people would mistake payouts with claims.

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