Almost half of malpractice cases are frivolous

Both sides of the tort reform debate are using this study as ammunition:

About 40 percent of the medical malpractice cases filed in the United States are groundless, according to a Harvard analysis of the hotly debated issue that pits trial lawyers against doctors, with lawmakers in the middle.

Many of the lawsuits analyzed contained no evidence that a medical error was committed or that the patient suffered any injury, the researchers reported.

The vast majority of those dubious cases were dismissed with no payout to the patient. However, groundless lawsuits still accounted for 15 percent of the money paid out in settlements or verdicts.

I’d say that a 40 percent “frivolous rate” is pretty high. The fact that 15 percent of these baseless lawsuits still resulted in payouts continues to indicate a broken tort system.

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