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March 15th, 2012

Judicial Hellholes Spurring Costly Trend toward More Giant-Sized Medical Liability Awards

Regular Judicial Hellholes readers won’t be surprised to know that California, Florida, New York and West Virginia were home to some of the most absurdly outsized (and costly to us all) medical liability verdicts since 2010.

According to the Claims Journal online, the “overall cost and frequency of so called $50 million plus “super losses” in the U.S. healthcare insurance sector are on the rise.”

The Claims Journal reports a study by specialist healthcare insurer Hiscox, showing that such “large losses keep on getting larger with juries in the last two years alone awarding more than $1 billion in total damages for just seven medical liability cases.”  They are:

  • March 2010  New York       $60.9m     Negligence at birth
  • July 2010      California       $670m      Inadequate staff at assisted living facilities
  • July 2010      Florida            $114m       Wrongful death at nursing home
  • May 2011      Connecticut    $58.6m    Negligence at birth
  • Aug 2011       West Va.          $91.5m     Nursing home negligence
  • Oct 2011        Michigan         $144m      Negligence at birth
  • Jan 2012       Florida             $168m      Brain damage following surgery

Of course, plaintiff-friendly thumbs on the scales of justice in these jurisdictions drive such ludicrous verdicts, and the ever higher costs they represent are ultimately passed on to future health care patients and their insurers. 

Who says we don’t need federal medical liability reform?

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