In 2002, we launched Medical Justice, a membership-based organization designed to complement tort reform and to head off frivolous lawsuits. ….
Our service has two principal components. First, we look at the quality of so-called expert-witness testimony. Behind every frivolous lawsuit there is an “expert” — usually a physician skilled in testifying before juries and often compensated to the tune of $10,000 dollars a day. Put bluntly, many of these “experts” are frauds, as this newspaper has repeatedly shown in cases regarding asbestosis and silicosis claims….
Medical Justice’s second tool is a patient-physician contract. That contract states that in a legitimate dispute, both sides will utilize only those experts who belong to such societies and who strictly follow their code of ethics. This limits the list to reputable and accountable physician experts, thus precluding the use of hired guns or medical “witnesses having other rational explanations” — better known by their acronym.
Does it work? Yes. After five years of collecting data, we know that Medical Justice plan members are sued at a rate of under just 2% a year. The average doctor is sued at a rate of 8%-12% per year. And the company is top heavy with physicians in “high-risk” specialties.
Private law saves the day? Perhaps — but how long before the plaintiffs’ bar fights back with legislation?