Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice Lawsuits on Decline But Maybe Not in a Bad Way

Pennsylvania malpractice lawsuits dropped about 11 from 2004 to 2007. In Lackawanna County, medical malpractice lawsuits plummeted 58 percent between 2000 and 2007. There were 30 Lackawanna County malpractice lawsuits were filed in 2007, compared with 35 in 2006 and 71 in 2000. In Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe, Pike, Sullivan, Wyoming, Susquehanna and Wayne counties, medical malpractice lawsuits dropped from 125 in 2000 to 88 last year.

Many attribute the decline to new Pennsylvania malpractice law that requires that “independent doctors” certify medical malpractice lawsuits before they can proceed. I don’t disagree with the premise of requiring a “certificate of merit” or other like mechanism before the filing of a medical malpractice lawsuit in Pennsylvania because I think it does what it should do in most cases: weed out malpractice lawsuits that should not be brought.

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