TortsProf Blog

Editor: Christopher J. Robinette
Widener Commonwealth Law School

Friday, May 3, 2013

2013 Med Mal Payouts

Diederich Healthcare has released the 2013 statistics for med mal payouts.  It's a treasure trove of data.  Some quick takes:

  • $3.6 billion in med mal payouts in 2012
  • 12,142 total payouts in 2012
  • Payouts were 3.4% lower than 2011 (continuing a downward trend since 2003)
  • 5% of payouts were judgments versus 93% settlements
  • The largest alleged injury (31%) was death


May 3, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Swan on Tort Law, Sexual Assault, and Third Parties

Sarah Swan (JSD Candidate, Columbia) has posted to SSRN Triangulating Rape.  The abstract provides:

Civil actions for rape and sexual assault have recently been undergoing significant changes in both quantity and quality. Quantitatively, the number of these kinds of cases has increased dramatically since the 1970s. Qualitatively, the litigation has shifted from a woman versus man paradigm to a triangulated tort claim involving a female plaintiff, a male defendant, and a corporate or institutional third party entity that either facilitated or somehow failed to prevent the sexual harm. While it may seem odd to think of sexual assault as involving three parties, the legal forms of rape have traditionally been triangulated.  Historically, rape was a legal wrong between two men regarding one’s proprietary interest in a woman: one man’s rape of another man’s wife, daughter, or servant would be legally constructed as a wrong done to him. Then, as this triangulation faded and the criminal justice system became the main forum for rape redress, the criminal triangulation of state versus male defendant, regarding the wrong to a woman, became the dominant structure of rape law.

Despite the fact that the criminal regime has been demonstrably unsuccessful in addressing or deterring sexual harms, it remains the primary forum for their adjudication, and many cultural, legal, and political pressures encourage women to rely solely on this system. This article argues against those pressures, and asserts that triangulated claims in private law represent a potentially promising avenue of redress for sexual harms. These civil suits can function as “crimtorts” (private civil actions which target public harms). Although they must overcome some significant obstacles, triangulated civil suits can serve as an important tool in targeting the social realities that contribute to sexual assault.


May 3, 2013 in Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, May 2, 2013

FL: House Passes Med Mal Reform; To Scott for Signature

Yesterday the Florida House passed a med mal reform bill that restricts experts testifying against a defendant doctor to the same specialty, not just the same field.  Bloomberg Businessweek has the story.


May 2, 2013 in Legislation, Reforms, & Political News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

PA: Venue Rule Covering Out-of-State Doctors Is Constitutional

A Philadelphia judge has held that a rule allowing venue over out-of-state doctors in any county in Pennsylvania is constitutional.  Amaris Elliott-Engel has the full story for The Legal Intelligencer (behind a pay wall).


May 1, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Today in Med Mal Reform

In Missouri, the Senate is debating whether to reinstate a cap on med mal damages after the Missouri Supreme Court ruled last year that a prior cap was unconstitutional.  At this point, negotiations are "in limbo," with no vote after 8 hours of discussion.  St. Louis Public Radio has the story (see also the San Francisco Chronicle)

Meanwhile, in Florida, the House is set to vote on a bill that would restrict the type of experts eligible to testify against a defendant doctor.  See earlier posts here and here.  The Jacksonville Business Journal has the story.


May 1, 2013 in Legislation, Reforms, & Political News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Terrorism Insurance in the Wake of the Boston Marathon Attack

Because of the link between torts and insurance, many of you either teach Insurance or are interested in the subject.  Here's a local story focusing on terrorism insurance after Boston.  The upshot is that homeowners are generally covered and businesses generally are offered coverage as a separate option every time they renew.  Is anyone seeing similar interest in terrorism insurance in their locality?

Thanks to David Raeker-Jordan for the tip.


April 30, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)