Layperson juries: A physician’s friend?

An against-the-grain study suggesting that health courts actually would be tougher on physician defendants:

A jury’s lack of medical expertise, Peters says, tends to favor the doctor, not the patient.

“Critics assume that the ‘battle of experts’ frees juries to award unjustified recoveries,” he writes. “The data suggest that it is more likely to shelter negligent physicians.”

One proposed solution — to turn cases over to specialized health courts — might result in less-favorable results for physicians, he suggests. Studies have consistently found that malpractice plaintiffs fared better in front of judges than in front of juries.

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