Friday, March 27, 2015

Case Filings in 2014

No surprise here, but overall case filings are down for 2014 (for the 5th year in a row).  And no really big surprise, two of the lowest categories of tort for cases filed are products liability and medical malpractice.

Products liability had only 48 cases filed in 2014.

Medical malpractice had 84 cases filed in 2014.

Why the continued decline in tort case filings, particularly in product liability and medical malpractice?

Tort reformers will most likely say products are safer and frivolous claims are down.

As I have stated before, that simply is not true.  The legislature has pretty much made it impossible to sue for a defective product.

And medical malpractice claims are very costly to bring, almost always require a trial and an appeals process, and jurors have a hard time finding a doctor or hospital staff member negligent, even if all the evidence is to the contrary.

There is a reason you don't see ads for medical malpractice lawyers.  No one wants them, and only a handful of attorneys in the state actually take the cases.

Just like products defense lawyers, medical malpractice defense lawyers better be careful what they wish for, otherwise they are going to have to find a new practice area in order to have a job.

But, I have discussed these issues many times in my blog posts.  I suggest you read the great writing and research in the Journal Sentinel on these issues; the Watchdog series on medical malpractice in Wisconsin has been phenomenal.

Here is the link to the most recent in the series.