Interesting article in the Insurance Journal on medical malpractice panels in New Hampshire. The idea is that medical malpractice panels, which are chaired by a retired judge and include a doctor and lawyer — screen every medical malpractice case that’s filed in New Hampshire. If the verdict of the panel is unanimous, this information is given to the jury. We do not have this system in Maryland, although some variation is regularly raised by medical malpractice tort reformers from time to time.
The problem with medical malpractice panels is that they add to the cost to the already significant cost of bringing a medical malpractice lawsuit. Accordingly, Plaintiff medical malpractice lawyers in Maryland and elsewhere generally dislike the notion of medical malpractice panels. Conversely, defendants’ medical malpractice lawyers love the system: more hours to bill.
Update: here is another article (January 11, 2009) on an effort to modify or eliminate this medical malpractice in New Hampshire.
- Health Courts (Common Good’s view, differing from ours, on health courts)