Articles Posted in Oklahoma

Oklahoma’s average malpractice award payment is $230,787. The national average is $285,218.  Other personal injury cases in Oklahoma are more reasonable.  So what is the problem with malpractice cases?

There is no problem.  There WAS a problem.   Oklahoma Statutes Section 23-61.2 limits non-economic damages to an extremely harsh cap of $350,000.  The Oklahoma Supreme Court wisely overturned this law.  But cap – the expectation of it passing – and the uncertainty surrounding it has a chilling impact.

Malpractice Settlements and Verdicts in Oklahoma

Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry signed into law a medical malpractice tort reform law in Oklahoma. Called the “Affordable Access to Health Care Act” (“Let’s Stop Victims from Getting Fair Compensation” was already taken), the law requires a certificate of merit by a medical expert before a nursing home or medical malpractice lawyer in Oklahoma can file a claim.

As I’ve written before, I’m fine with this new Oklahoma rule. I’m also okay—I guess—with the rule that attorney fees are no longer awarded to plaintiffs in nursing home liability lawsuits (although that rule seemed fair). My problem with this bill is that it puts a $300,000 cap on non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases involving birth injuries and emergency care. In other words, they are putting a cap on what are usually the most serious medical malpractice cases where the victims have suffered the most. Bad law, but it received large support in Oklahoma City.

Medical malpractice claims statistics from the Oklahoma Insurance Department are certainly not music to the ears of Oklahoma medical malpractice lawyers and their clients.

In 2006, 805 medical malpractice claims that resolved in Oklahoma. The malpractice cases were dismissed in 59, or almost 70%. Of the remaining medical malpractice case, 181 settled and 20 went to trial. The average claim settlement or award in 2006 was $257,887. The total amount paid in settlements and verdicts was just shy of $50 million.

oklahoma malpractice lawsuitsThe following are medical malpractice verdicts or settlements that took place in Oklahoma courts:

Contact Information