An AP analysis last week examined the initiative approved by Florida voters earlier this month (and sponsored by trial lawyers) which provides for the revocation of the licenses of doctors with three findings of malpractice on their records (see Nov. 4, Jul. 20, etc.) Citing the views of our own Lester Brickman, it suggests that the measure may be a bigger victory for the trial bar than has heretofore been recognized:
Legal experts say the measure could let loose a flood of malpractice suits. Doctors say it will scare some physicians away from Florida while forcing others to reach quick malpractice settlements to avoid a "strike" against them.
"It has branded the state as probably the most unfriendly state for physicians," said Robert Yelverton, a Tampa doctor. ...
Lester Brickman, a professor of legal ethics at the Cardozo School of Law of Yeshiva University in New York, said the lawyers "trumped the doctors" with the three-strikes amendment, because lawyers will rush to sue in hopes doctors will settle to avoid a "strike" on their record.
"You'll see hundreds of these claims," Brickman said. "In the next 10 years virtually every doctor in the state of Florida will have been sued."