Pennsylvania is seeing a staggeringly high number of medical malpractice verdicts with devastating damage awards. Since January of 2023, the number of medical malpractice cases filed in Philadelphia’s notoriously verdict friendly Court of Common Pleas has sharply increased, as have the number of “nuclear” verdicts. The impact this negative trend is having on the Commonwealth’s health care environment was the topic of a recent opinion column by Pennsylvania Coalition for Civil Justice Reform Executive Director Curt Schroder.
As Schroder notes in this column, Pennsylvania faces a surge in medical malpractice verdicts, raising concerns over an impending healthcare crisis. Notably, Philadelphia’s Court of Common Pleas witnessed a significant rise in malpractice cases and “nuclear” verdicts, causing alarm among regional health systems burdened with massive payouts. The escalating jury verdicts, unrelated to reasonable compensation, benefit plaintiffs’ attorneys, resulting in potential adverse consequences like increased medical malpractice premiums, defensive medicine practices, and limited healthcare accessibility. Urgent measures are recommended, including reevaluating noneconomic damage caps and capping attorney contingency fees, to avert an impending healthcare system collapse and protect patient safety.
The piece can be read in its entirety on the Delaware County Daily Times’ website.