When Tort Resolutions Are "Wrong": Predictors of Discordant Outcomes in Medical Malpractice Litigation
Tort litigation is frequently criticized for producing outcomes that do not match merit. We examined 1,452 closed malpractice claims from five insurers to obtain objective clinical judgments of their underlying merit. We then analyzed predictors of discordant outcomes-payment of apparently nonmeritorious claims and nonpayment of apparently meritorious claims. In multivariate analyses, the odds of both forms of discordant outcome were significantly higher when reviewers judged it a close call as to whether a medical error had occurred. The odds of nonmeritorious claims receiving compensation were significantly higher among cases involving infants and health care facility codefendants and significantly lower when claims were decided by trial verdict. The strongest predictor of rejection of meritorious claims was resolution by trial verdict, which suggests that patients who have been harmed by error fare poorly when their claims are decided by juries. (c) 2007 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.
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- Farber, Henry S & White, Michelle J, 1994. "A Comparison of Formal and Informal Dispute Resolution in Medical Malpractice," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(2), pages 777-806, June.
- Sloan, Frank A. & Githens, Penny B. & Clayton, Ellen Wright & Hickson, Gerald B., 1993. "Suing for Medical Malpractice," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226762791, January.
- Waldfogel, Joel, 1995.
"The Selection Hypothesis and the Relationship between Trial and Plaintiff Victory,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(2), pages 229-260, April.
- Joel Waldfogel, 1993. "The Selection Hypothesis and the Relationship between Trial and Plaintiff Victory," NBER Working Papers 4508, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- George L. Priest & Benjamin Klein, 1984. "The Selection of Disputes for Litigation," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(1), pages 1-56, January.
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