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November 23, 2005



Interesting. What about the percentage of suits v.s. the number of citizens? (The article is subscription only.) I'm curious to know if overall we have more suits.


Yeah, I'm sorry about Health Affairs the subscription stuff. I know it's a pain.

"In terms of the number of suits, Are more malpractice claims filed in the United States? The United States had 50 percent more malpractice claims filed per 1,000 population filed than the United Kingdom and Australia, and 350 percent more than Canada (Exhibit 3). Two-thirds of the U.S. claims were dropped, dismissed, or found in favor of the defendant; in one-third, plaintiffs received compensation after a settlement or judgment. The same distribution of claim results occurred in Canada. In the United Kingdom, fewer claims are dropped and dismissed and more are settled; during 1995–2002, 36 percent of claims were dropped, 60 percent were settled, 1 percent were found for the defendant, and 2 percent were found for the plaintiff."

So there you go -- we had a lot more suits, but many more were dropped. Looking at the numbers, I think we still have more claims overall, but considering how many are dropped, not a huge number more.

The problem is that bringing all those claims, even when they're dismissed, cost a lot of money.


atul gawande is from around athens, ohio(where i currently live) and his dad's a pretty well known guy around this area and i've actually met atul gawande a couple of times. next time i see him, i'll try to remember and tell him about this :)


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