FEEDBACK

Medical Malpractice

February 14, 2003 • Volume 13, Issue 6
Are lawsuits out of control?
By Kenneth Jost

Introduction

New Jersey doctors urge Gov. James E. McGreevey to approve a $250,000 limit on non-economic damages in malpractice cases at a rally at the Capitol in Trenton on Feb. 4, 2003. About 3,000 health-care workers attended. Physicians say high awards won by plaintiffs in malpractice suits cause their premiums to rise.  (Getty Images/Don Murray)
New Jersey doctors urge Gov. James E. McGreevey to approve a $250,000 limit on non-economic damages in malpractice cases at a rally at the Capitol in Trenton on Feb. 4, 2003. About 3,000 health-care workers attended. Physicians say high awards won by plaintiffs in malpractice suits cause their premiums to rise. (Getty Images/Don Murray)

Doctors in some parts of the country are facing double-digit increases in their malpractice-insurance premiums and blaming the problem on runaway jury verdicts in malpractice suits. Many states already have limited damage awards in malpractice cases. President Bush is now asking Congress to set a $250,000 cap on non-economic or so-called pain-and-suffering damages. But trial lawyers and consumer groups say malpractice suits are not out of control. They claim that insurance companies are raising premiums because of poor underwriting decisions and low investment returns. They also warn that limiting lawsuits hurts victims of egregious medical mistakes and reduces incentives to protect patient safety. But doctors contend that high liability expenses drive up health-care costs, thus reducing access to treatment.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Medical Malpractice
Feb. 14, 2003  Medical Malpractice
Feb. 25, 2000  Medical Mistakes
Dec. 19, 1975  Malpractice Insurance Crunch
Nov. 08, 1952  Suppression of Medical Abuses
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Insurance Industry
Legal Professions and Resources
Medical Profession and Personnel
FEEDBACK

Your Email Address

Subject

Provide Feedback

Suggest a topic here.

Type the characters you see below into the box

Take our survey to help us improve CQ Researcher!