Friday, March 19, 2004

Pennsylvania Medmal Suits Drop 30% in Wake of "Reform"

According to data from Pennsylvania's Supreme Court, the number of medical malpractice suits filed last year dropped by nearly 30% from the previous three years, the Scranton Times Tribune reports. Although the reasons for the decline are uncertain, many analysts and attorneys will attribute them to substantive and procedural changes adopted by the state's legislature and the courts since 2002. These include adjustments to the state's joint-and-several liability regime, provisions to discourage venue-shopping, and the new requirement that attorneys filing medical malpractice claims obtain a "certificate of merit" from an independent health care professional attesting that treatment fell outside acceptable standards.

There's no evidence that Pennsylvania malpractice premiums have fallen as a result. We'll see if they do.
Fed. R. Evid. 702: If scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will assist the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue, a witness qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education, may testify thereto in the form of an opinion or otherwise, if (1) the testimony is based upon sufficient facts or data, (2) the testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods, and (3) the witness has applied the principles and methods reliably to the facts of the case.