Fewer medical lawsuits in PA

    Medical malpractice claims have dropped 54 percent in Philadelphia.

    For years Pennsylvania doctors have complained that frivolous lawsuits and costly malpractice insurance make the Commonwealth an unfriendly place to do business. Thursday Governor Rendell said the number of malpractice claims has shrunk.

    Listen:

    [audio:090423tereform.mp3]

    The governor says legislative and court reforms have decreased the number of malpractice claims by 41 percent from earlier in the decade.

    One reform requires lawyers to file their claim where an injury happens. It’s meant to end a practice called “venue shopping.” That allowed injured patients to take their case to places with reputations for handing out larger awards.

    Governor Rendell says Pennsylvania has also helped doctors pay their malpractice premiums.

    Rendell:Doctors got a billion dollars from the state of Pennsylvania. I think there’s no state in the union that comes anywhere close to that in terms of payments to deal with the medical malpractice crisis.

    The Pennsylvania Medial Society says the reforms have helped, but president Daniel Glunk says the state still has a reputation as an unfriendly place to practice. Glunk says while the number of malpractice claims has dropped, the money awarded has not.

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