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Yesterday, I posted an article about a Minnesota verdict and that state’s somewhat pro-citizen approach to medical malpractice reform. I compared Minnesota’s malpractice pay-outs to heavily tort reformed Virginia and North Carolina. As I sit here on a Saturday morning drinking my coffee, it struck me that I did not go far enough in making my point in providing the comparison. So, the question for the day is: Why, despite severe caps (for very little reason other than providing “entitlements” to doctors and hospitals and a bad deal to Virginia and North Carolina citizens) do Virginia and North Carolina have higher medical malpractice payouts than Minnesota?

Is it because they have a significantly higher number of doctors? No. It stands to reason that there is less accountability (tort reform limits recovery, thus accountability), thus more mistakes, in North Carolina and Virginia. Stands to reason, doesn’t it? No doctor goes into the operating room with the intent to do harm, but here are three states with malpractice statistics that can be verified, and the two that limit accountability pay out more, not less. Interesting, no?

Further, using the 2007 calendar year as an example, out of the 1.9 million lawsuits filed in Minnesota, only 114 were medical malpractice cases. The statistics are, most likely, similar in Virginia and North Carolina. Thus, heavily tort reformed states provide doctors, hospitals and bad drug makers a significant hand-out/entitlement to protect them from .00006% (less than miniscule) of the lawsuits filed? For this we need tort reform? For this, doctors are supposedly fleeing non-reformed states? This is patently ridiculous; use your common sense.

Do you find it interesting that states with severe caps on non-economic damages pay out more money in medical malpractice claims? Does tort reform makes us less safe? What do you think?

Mark Bello is the CEO and General Counsel of Lawsuit Financial Corporation, a pro-justice lawsuit funding company.

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