The Ohio Senate has passed and the House is now being asked to consider S.B. 88, which "would establish a Northeast Ohio pilot program in which all medical malpractice claims would go through a mandatory arbitration process before going to trial." The arbitration panels would consist of dispute resolution professionals and persons conversant in the relevant medical specialty. Interesting tidbit:
Ohio had a voluntary arbitration process in place two decades ago. However, that system did not contain a so-called "loser pays" provision included in the current legislation. Backers of the new measure say the provision means the losing party in arbitration, if it also loses at a subsequent trial, must pay its opponent's legal costs � a strong deterrent to the filing of frivolous lawsuits.
Under the failed arbitration system from the 1970s and '80s, plaintiff attorneys would take a "dive" and lose arbitration on purpose just to get to trial, said Mike Wise, a McDonald Hopkins Co. LPA attorney and lobbyist for the Academy of Medicine.