Okay, we picked it in part just as an excuse to quote that headline, but the story actually does show how litigation reform can work as intended: the Philadelphia Inquirer editorially hails a precipitous drop in filings of malpractice cases in that city since the state legislature enacted a bill (meant to curb forum-shopping by plaintiff's lawyers) which requires that suits against doctors be filed where the care was delivered. It is not yet clear to what extent the drop in Philadelphia filings will be counterbalanced by an expected rise in filings in suburban and rural counties; some cases, which had been premised on the generosity or unpredictability of juries in the center city, may wind up not being filed at all. (editorial, Sept. 4; Josh Goldstein, "Medical lawsuits plummet in Phila.", Aug. 31). The Pennsylvania Medical Society comments (other liability resources at its site).
In other Pennsylvania-related malpractice news, a website of doctors in neighboring New Jersey is posting the text of the "Liability Update" newsletter put out by PaMedSoc Legislative Issues Chair Donna Baver Rovito (sample), packed with news clips of interest to anyone interested in the medical liability crisis whether resident in Pennsylvania/New Jersey or not (mirror AOL site with comments) (also available at Politically Active Physicians' Association (www.fightingdocs.com), click through "News and Information" on left column). [Corrected Sept. 13 to repair/improve nonworking links]
(Cross-posted from Overlawyered, where it ran Sept. 12, 2003)