The New England Journal of Medicine recently reported that a Harvard study has found that the legal system successfully weeds out claims against health care professionals that have no merit. This comes as a surprise to the American Medical Association, and other medical groups and insurance companies, who have long contended that the laws regarding the liability of health care professionals are too liberal and that tort reform is necessary.
The study was conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, found that 90% of all claims against health care professionals involved a severe injury; 26% of those resulted in death and 80% in disability. The study reported that 63% of the injuries were due to the negligence of a medical professional and that the overwhelming majority of those claims thought to be without merit did not result in compensation.
This study, which some believe is another nail in the coffin of tort reform, substantiates what plaintiff and defense lawyers have known for a long time; that tort reform is a response to a campaign of misinformation orchestrated by insurance companies that gives preference to insurance company profits over the rights of health care professionals to affordable insurance and the rights of those they inadvertently injure.