10 New Malpractice Concerns, and How to Avoid Them

Leigh Page

Date: November 2015

Risks arise, but many can be avoided.

The news on the malpractice front is still somewhat upbeat: Physicians are far less likely to be sued than they were a decade ago. However, several new concerns appear on the horizon—threats that are either brand-new or were largely unfamiliar years ago. Some of these concerns may not apply to you; a few others are still only conjecture and may not materialize, but it’s worth knowing about them.


The Standard of Care: Legal History and Definitions: the Bad and Good News 

Peter Moffett, MD and Gregory Moore, MD, JD

Date : February  2011  

The true meaning of the term “the standard of care” is a frequent topic of discussion among emergency physicians as they evaluate and perform care on patients. This article, using legal cases and dictums, reviews the legal history and definitions of the standard of care. The goal is to provide the working physician with a practical and useful model of the standard of care to help guide daily practice.


Wisconsin’s cap on medical malpractice awards unconstitutional, courts rules


Date : July  2017 


Ruling that Wisconsin’s $750,000 cap on medical malpractice claims is unconstitutional, an appellate court said Wednesday that a Milwaukee woman who lost all four limbs should collect the $16.5 million for pain and suffering awarded to her and her husband. 


“We conclude that the statutory cap on non-economic damages is unconstitutional on its face,” Judge Joan Kessler wrote in the 19-page unanimous opinion by the three-judge First District Court of Appeals panel. 


Medical Malpractice New York Times


Date : August 2017


News about Medical Malpractice, including commentary and archival articles published in The New York Times.


For Malpractice Reform, Focus on Medicine First (Not Law)



Date: April  2017


You don’t have to look too hard to find backing for the notion that some malpractice claims lack merit … and  … It’s also undeniable that defending against malpractice suits gets costly.  But it is not so clear that the best way to solve malpractice lawsuits is through changes focused on the legal system rather than the medical one.


The impact of defense expenses in medical malpractice claims.

Carroll AE, Parikh PD, Buddenbaum JL.


Date : August 2012


The objective of this study was to take a closer look at defense-related expenses for medical malpractice cases over time. We conducted a retrospective review of medical malpractice claims reported to the Physician Insurers Association of America’s Data Sharing Project with a closing date between January 1, 1985 and December 31, 2008. On average a medical malpractice claim costs more than $27,000 to defend. Claims that go to trial are much more costly to defend than are those that are dropped, withdrawn, or dismissed. However, since….


Claims, Errors, and Compensation Payments in Medical Malpractice Litigation

David M. Studdert, LL.B., Sc.D., M.P.H et al

Date: May 2006


In the current debate over tort reform, critics of the medical malpractice system charge that frivolous litigation — claims that lack evidence of injury, substandard care, or both — is common and costly.


The Association between Patient Safety Indicators and Medical Malpractice Risk: Evidence from Florida and Texas


Date : August 2017


This study published in the American Journal of Health Economics explored the link between malpractice suits and metrics known as Patient Safety Indicators (P.S.I.), developed and released by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality in 2003, These indicators are intended to quantify harmful events in the health care system. These events are thought to be preventable by changes at the level of the physician, the hospital or the system itself.


The Malpractice Mess Who pays the price when patients sue doctors?

By Atul Gawande

Date : November 2005

Malpractice suits are a feared, often infuriating, and common event in a doctor’s life. (I have not faced a bona-fide malpractice suit, but I know to expect one.) The average doctor in a high-risk practice like surgery or obstetrics is sued about once every six years. Seventy per cent of the time, the suit is either dropped by the plaintiff or won in court.


America Should Adapt New Zealand’s Method of Handling Medical Malpractice Cases

By Vishal Khetpal

(Vishal Khetpal is a second-year medical student at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University)

Date : July 2017

If you ask doctors about the barriers to providing affordable care, they’ll inevitably bring up medical malpractice suits. We can fix that—other countries have.