Friday, March 11, 2005

Empirical study of med mal outcomes in Texas

A new study examines medical malpractice in Texas: Stability, Not Crisis: Medical Malpractice Claim Outcomes in Texas, 1988-2002. A working copy is posted here.

The researchers are Bernard Black, U. Texas; Charles Silver, U. Texas; David A. Hyman, U. Illinois, and William M. Sage, Columbia U. The study was funded by the University of Texas School of Law, Center on Lawyers, Civil Justice, and the Media.

Excerpts from the abstract:

Using a comprehensive database of closed claims . . . , this study provides evidence on a range of issues involving medical malpractice litigation, including claim frequency, payout frequency, payment amounts, defense costs, and jury verdicts. The data present a picture of remarkable stability in most respects and slow, predictable change in others. We find no evidence of the medical malpractice crisis that produced headlines over the last several years and led to legal reform in Texas and other states. The rapid changes in insurance premiums that sparked the crisis appear to reflect insurance market dynamics, largely disconnected from claim outcomes. . . . Jury verdicts showed no significant trend.
More information, including the authors' press release is here.

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