Medical Lawsuits Down Since Oct. 1; Calls for ‘Tort Reform Credit’

The Triangle Business Journal (TBJ) recently reported that since the October 1, 2011 effective date of both the Senate Bill 33 – Medical Liability Reform and House Bill 542 – Tort Reform for Citizens and Businesses, lawsuits filed against physicians insured by Medical Mutual Insurance Company of North Carolina has declined. According to Medical Mutual, only 11 new lawsuits have been filed, four of which were filed by patients without legal representation. Read the entire TBJ article here. Having minimal lawsuits within a six-month period is rare and can be credited to medical liability reform.

“We historically average more than 20 new lawsuits filed per month against our North Carolina members,” said David Sousa, Senior Vice President & General Counsel for Medical Mutual. “Having just 11 new suits in six and half months is a phenomenal drop-off.”

TBJ also reported that MAG Mutual has cut physician’s premiums by an average of 7.4 percent for 2012 and refers to three percent of that as a “tort reform credit.” Click here to read the article. The News and Observer also reported on the issue.

Tort reform was a monumental victory for the NCMS and its partners. In addition to reducing the amount of medical lawsuits filed in North Carolina, tort reform also:

  • Strengthens the screening mechanism for frivolous cases
  • Eliminates inflated jury awards
  • Helps juries distinguish between substandard care and bad outcomes
  • Ensures doctors have a meaningful right to appeal legal errors made at trial
  • Brings predictability to jury awards for noneconomic damages
  • Addresses real challenges faced by physicians of all specialties in emergency care situations
  • Prohibits “stale” medical malpractice claims against physicians

For more information on the Society’s tort reform efforts, click here.

 
 

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