Required Pre-Suit Mediation in Medical Malpractice Cases

operating-room-2019-300x200The Illinois Supreme Court has approved a new plan that requires medical malpractice parties in two Illinois counties to seek mediation before filing suit in medical malpractice cases.

The hope is that both sides can come to an agreement to resolve the case without the necessity of lengthy (and costly) discovery and trial.

I hope this works but I think most malpractice attorneys are skeptical. The problem in medical malpractice cases is that it is sometimes difficult to judge the strengths and weakness of the case, with respect to both damages and liability, until extensive discovery has been done. Plaintiff’s lawyers often fume at the insurance companies’ unwillingness to make offers before suit is filed, but the truth is that this is often the best course for both parties.

There are so many do-gooder efforts to encourage pre-suit settlement. I’d like to put any experienced medical malpractice lawyer under sodium pentothal and ask them how many cases will get settled pre-suit under this process that would not have been settled pre-suit without it.

That is not to say that you cannot get a relatively quick settlement in a medical malpractice case in Maryland.  You can.  Sometimes the defendant, particularly when the defendant is a hospital, is willing to fall on its sword and pay fair settlement value for the malpractice claim.  But the defendant is either going to be receptive to such a resolution or they are not.

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