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Ongoing Trend – Failed Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

A jury of seven women and five men deliberated for just about three hours before coming to a decision. The jury found Theresa Michels did not prove that Dr. Myron D. Haas of Orthopedic Associates of Pottsville Inc. was negligent in treating her broken wrist. Nor did the doctor cause the reflex sympathetic dystrophy that has since affected her left hand. This was a crushing blow for her medical malpractice claim.

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The Pottsville woman alleged in her medical malpractice suit that the cast on her wrist was too tight and had caused ongoing pain in her left hand. The doctor’s lawyer claimed that the reflex sympathetic dystrophy was caused by her fall from a stool on Aug 23, 2003, the fall in which she broke her wrist. Judge Cyrus Palmer Dolbin revealed the verdict was not unanimous. In a Pennsylvania civil lawsuit, 10 of the 12 jurors’ votes are needed for a verdict. The jury determined Michels would receive nothing from the lawsuit filed in 2005.

Trending Failure For Medical Malpractice Claims

According to data from the National Practitioner Databank, the total number of medical malpractice payouts rose from $3 billion to $4.7 billion between 1992 and 2003. However, the nine years between 2003 and 2011 saw a decrease to about $3.7 billion. This decrease is likely due to several factors including the passage of malpractice payout caps in nearly 30 states and new state rules and regulations aimed at filtering frivolous lawsuits from those that are credible.

Fewer Medical Malpractice Lawsuits In PA

The number of Pennsylvania medical malpractice lawsuits against doctors and hospitals dropped to the lowest point with the new regulations. Between 2002, when the new regulations took effect, and 2010 the number of Pennsylvania medical malpractice lawsuits decreased 45.4%. According to the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts, more juries returned verdicts in favor of healthcare providers in more than 80% of the cases.

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The new regulations require lawyers who file medical claims to also file a statement by a medical expert that a lawsuit is not frivolous. In addition, suits must be filed in the county in which the alleged malpractice occurred.

In Philadelphia, the state’s busiest county court system, the number of medical malpractice filings decreased by 70 percent. Other Pennsylvania counties have seen similar reductions in medical malpractice claims.

Medical Malpractice Attorney

While it has become more difficult to initiate and prove a medical malpractice claim, don’t be discouraged. If you believe you have injuries from a medical mistake or malpractice, talk to an attorney. An experienced medical malpractice attorney can help you understand how the law applies to your situation.

Contact a medical malpractice attorney at Haggerty Silverman & Justice for a free case evaluation. We’ll answer any questions you have and help you understand your options. Contact us today!