Articles Posted in States

Last week, in Siebert v. Okun, the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled that the state’s damages cap in medical malpractice cases was constitutional, concluding the law did not violate the right to a trial by jury. This ruling struck down the Bernalillo County District Court’s 2018 ruling on Siebert v. Okun.

New Mexico’s Medical Malpractice Act

The New Mexico legislature passed the Medical Malpractice Act in 1976. The law caps damages in medical malpractice cases at $600,000. It applies to lost wages and pain and suffering. The cap excludes punitive damages and compensation for medical and rehabilitative treatments.

A Jury Verdict Research study finds that the compensatory median award for personal injury trials in New York is $287,628, dwarfing the nationwide median is $34,550.

Why Are New York Personal Injury Verdicts Are So High?

New York has favorable juries, particularly in its urban areas. But the reality is that this number is distorted by the lack of smaller and mid-sized car accident lawsuits. Under New York’s no-fault law, an insurance company is required to pay drivers, passengers, and pedestrians up to $50,000.00 for their legitimate economic and medical losses but does not provide for pain and suffering.

Only permanent injury cases can recover more than $50,000. This leads to fewer lawsuits in smaller cases – of which there are many – which increases the overall award in New York.

This page looks at the settlement and trial value of personal injury cases in California.   This page was last updated on May 26, 2021.

What Is a California Personal Injury Case Worth?

Jury Verdict Research found that the average money damage award for personal injury trials in California is $1,814,094. The median verdict, perhaps a better statistic, is $114,305.

The average personal injury verdict at trial in Connecticut is $2,519,637, according to Jury Verdict Research.

This is great ammo if you are a personal injury lawyer trying to trump up the value of your case or if you are a tort reform advocate trying to show that juries are going wild. But this is unbelievably misleading.

The median personal injury verdict in Connecticut is $22,499, less than 10% of the average. Only 4% of verdicts exceed $1 million and I would love to see how many of these verdicts are actually collected. My guess? Less than half. Someone got a $326 million verdict in this study. I didn’t look up the verdict, but somehow I doubt someone wrote a $326 million check.

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Let’s take a look at hospital malpractice verdicts and settlements in Massachusetts in recent years.  I’m writing this on March 31, 2021 so we do not have a ton in recent years.  

Why?  Hospitals in Massachusetts — or anywhere — are usually not racing to the courthouse steps to try cases.  They have too much in PR and goodwill to risk a loss so they settle the good cases they could lose. 

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Earlier this year in Winter v. Gardens Regional Hospital, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals revived a False Claims Act case filed by the Director of Care Management in a California hospital that claimed nearly $1.3 in Medicare claims that sought reimbursement for inpatient hospitalizations that were not medically necessary.

The U.S. District Court of Utah dismissed the case, without leave to amend, for failing to state a claim under the FCA. Specifically, the court believed that the qui tam plaintiff’s complaint failed to state a cause of action under the FCA because the allegations as a matter of law were “subjective medical opinions” that demonstrated a mere “difference of opinion” as to the medical necessity of inpatient hospital admissions.

Facts of Winter v. Gardens Regional Hospital

In Georges v. Ob-Gyn Servs., P.C. the defendants, a midwife, and a medical practice, unsuccessfully attempted to overturn and $1.6 million in interest that accumulated as the result of defendants’ refusal to accept an offer of compromise after a $4.2 million jury award.

Facts of Georges v. Ob-Gyn Servs.

The plaintiffs’ birth injury lawyer (James D Horwitz of Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder) filed their original complaint alleged that the defendants committed malpractice during the mother’s pregnancy, labor, and during the delivery of her child.  The plaintiffs claimed that this malpractice caused the child to suffer severe and permanent injuries.  The lawsuit claim that result of the defendants’ medical malpractice in managing shoulder dystocia, a young girl sustained a severe, permanent injury to her right brachial plexus.

Our law firm handles birth injury cases all over the country. We recently picked up a case in Minnesota.  I think we can really help this child and this family.

In every state, we research the law and talk to local counsel. When our lawyers take a Minnesota birth injury case, we hire local lawyers in Minnesota to help. Does that cost the client more?  It does not.  It comes out of our fee when the case settles.  So families get two lawyers for the price of one.

I thought it would be a good idea to publish our research. If others had put their research online, it would have made our job a lot easier.

According to a Jury Verdict Research study that was published this month, the average compensation for a personal injury lawsuit in Texas over the last six years is a compensatory median award for personal injury trials in Texas is $826,892. The highest verdict was over $100 million which, obviously, inflated the average verdict. The median verdict is only $12,281. Certainly, medical malpractice reform in Texas has not helped this number in recent years.  Unless it is a birth injury case or other claim with long term catastrophic injuries and future medical care or future lost wages, a Texas medical malpractice lawyer is hard to find.

Keep in mind too, Texas is not so much a state as several countries in terms of how they value personal injury cases.  So a verdict in East Texas might be very different than a verdict in San Antonio for the exact same case.

Sample Recent Verdicts in Texas

Jury Verdict Research published a recent study indicating that the average verdict in personal injury lawsuits in Ohio is 303,955. The median personal injury verdict in Ohio is only $13,000. Approximate three percent of Ohio personal injury verdicts exceed $1,000,000.

Recent  Settlements and Verdicts in Ohio

  • 2020, Ohio: $115,000 Settlement. A 78-year-old nursing home resident was found unresponsive in the facility’s dining room after choking on a piece of chicken. He had a medical history of swallowing difficulties and was missing several teeth. The man was brought to the hospital after being found, where he died within a few hours. His estate sued the facility for leaving him unsupervised as he ate. Their expert dietician testified that she found many standard of care violations throughout the facility. The facility contended that they found no signs of swallowing difficulties and argued that the man’s dysphagia improved before he was admitted there. This case settled for $115,000.