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Pennsylvania Med Mal Lawsuits Decline

Medical malpractice lawsuits in Pennsylvania have dropped by more than 40 percent for four consecutive years compared to the two years before two rules were changed by the state Supreme Court in 2003. Statewide and in most of Northeast Pennsylvania, attorneys filed significantly fewer medical malpractice lawsuits in the past nine years. In 2003, a rule change required attorneys to obtain a certificate of merit showing that medical procedures in a case didn’t meet accepted standards before they could file their case. Also since 2003, attorneys can only file medical malpractice lawsuits in the county where the alleged incident took place, which limits the practice known as venue shopping.
“What we’re seeing is essentially a leveling off in what had been a growing decline in numbers,” Chief Justice of Pennsylvania Ronald D. Castille said in a news release. “Although the numbers are likely to show slight changes in the years ahead, the pattern suggests a solid footing for the systematic tracking and rule changes initiated a decade ago by the [state] Supreme Court to address concern over medical malpractice litigation.”

PA Medical Malpractice Lawsuits Have Dropped (Scranton Times-Tribune 5/14/12)

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