The Illinois Supreme Court has approved a new plan that requires medical malpractice parties in two Illinois counties to seek mediation before suing 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 weaknesses of the case, regarding both damages and liability, until extensive discovery has been done. Plaintiff’s lawyers often fume at the insurance companies’ unwillingness to make offers before they file suit, but 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.
Not 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, will fall on its sword and pay fair settlement value for the malpractice claim. But the defendant will be receptive to such a resolution, or they will not.