THE SOURCE: “Dropped Medical Malpractice Claims: Their Surprising Frequency, Apparent Causes, and Potential Remedies” by Dwight Golann, in Health Affairs, July 2011.
It's a common enough headache for American doctors: Treat a patient using a routine procedure, but instead of getting a check in the mail, get served legal papers. To add insult to injury, much of the cost and conflict of malpractice litigation is unnecessary. A surprising number of cases “simply disappear, as plaintiffs abandon them,” writes Dwight Golann, a professor at Suffolk University Law School, in Boston. Golann studied 2,094 malpractice cases in Massachusetts that closed between 2006 and 2010. Almost half—46 percent—were dropped by the plaintiff. (The remainder resulted in a settlement or went to court.)
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