HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Akron Univ. School of Law

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Monday, August 29, 2005

Chills from Peer Review

Law.com reports on a recent development in the world of physician peer review.  The abuse of physician peer review to discourage doctors from testifying for plaintiffs in medical malpractice cases.  The article states,

The Daily Business Review first reported increased peer review as a tactic to chill plaintiff-side testimony in 2003. Since that time, medical associations have stepped up their efforts to rein in experts, making it harder for plaintiffs attorneys to find physician witnesses and bring cases.

"In the last couple of years, doctors have been very reticent to speak with you, let alone take a case," said Deborah Gander, a partner at Coral Gables, Fla.-based Colson Hicks Eidson. "They don't even want to take the initial phone call. They say, 'I can't afford to get my name out there as a plaintiff expert.'"

Under Florida law, an expert opinion is required to file a medical malpractice case. South Florida plaintiffs attorneys fear that as a result of the pressure from medical groups the expert well is drying up, making it harder to file and litigate medical malpractice cases.

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