Health Courts: A Modern-Day Solution for Medical Malpractice Litigation
This essay suggests the creation of specialty health courts to oversee medical malpractice cases, as an alternative to traditional tort reform. Tort reform has primarily focused on reducing litigation by creating impediments for plaintiffs to pursue medical malpractice cases. This has lessened the amount of litigation and reduced the likelihood of medical liability for defendants, but leaves uncompensated plaintiffs and has not served as a deterrence to future injuries. In this respect, specialized health courts, like other specialty courts in the United States, would be established to handle this aspect of litigation, by restoring the connection between medical liability and patient safety. The health courts would have lawyers and health-care practitioners, expedited evidentiary-based proceedings, and fully-compensated economic damages and “scheduled” non-economic damages. Additionally, neutral health experts, established precedent through opinions rendered by these health courts, and a compensation standard of avoidable medical injuries—instead of a negligence standard—would further assist physicians by creating a body of law to help them better assess risks of liability in their provision of medical care, and ultimately foment safer medical practices.
Tort reform, Civil justice, Medical malpractice, Healthcare reform
Civil Law | Health Law and Policy | Law | Medical Jurisprudence | Torts
Parver, Corrine P. “Health Courts: A Modern-Day Solution for Medical Malpractice Litigation.” In Materials on Tort Reform, edited by Popper, Andrew F., 73-74. Minneapolis, MN: West/Thomson/Reuters, 2010.