Massachusetts: "The Romney administration and the Harvard School of Public Health, seeking to address soaring health care costs driven by medical malpractice lawsuits, are working on a sweeping proposal to move malpractice claims out of state courts and into a new administrative framework much like the state's workers' compensation system." (Ralph Ranalli, "Malpractice plan would limit trials", Boston Globe, Nov. 13). "Defense and plaintiffs' lawyers agree that, in recent memory, no medical malpractice verdict in excess of policy limits has resulted in the seizure of a Connecticut doctor's house, savings or other personal assets", reports Thomas B. Scheffey of the Connecticut Law Tribune. But now following a series of high awards "more aggressive collection strategies may come into play" as trial lawyers at Bridgeport's kingpin tort firm of Koskoff, Koskoff and Bieder are "exploring other options" with regard to collecting a $10 million judgment against a Stamford physician insured for only $1 million ("Med-Mal Awards Put Doctors on Alert", Nov. 18). And a judge in McDowell County, W.V., has dismissed Dr. Julie McCammon's lawsuit against the West Virginia Trial Lawyers Association and its former president for causing her malpractice insurance rates to rise, ruling that the defendants owed her no duty of care. (Nora Edinger, "Doctor's suit dismissed", Clarksburg Exponent Telegram, undated, appx. Nov. 26).
[cross-posted from Overlawyered, where it ran Dec. 2, 2003]