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Shifting Views in Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

Lancaster Online reports that the number of medical malpractice lawsuits in Lancaster County has reached an all time high.

The number of medical malpractice suits filed in the county has been climbing for four years, and is at 51 for this year, well above the previous record of 41 in 2013.

Overall, the number of medical malpractice cases filed in Pennsylvania has dropped by more than 43 percent. That statewide drop occurred following enactment of reforms in the early 2000s. Now, there seems to be a shift in attitude regarding medical malpractice suits in Lancaster County and other parts of the state.

Several explanations are offered for the spike in the number of medical malpractice cases in Lancaster County. One explanation is a verdict in 2010 that awarded a plaintiff $2.7 million and sent a message to potential plaintiffs and medical malpractice lawyers that the county’s jurors may provide adequate compensation for serious injuries. Additionally, the county’s demographics are changing, as is the medical industry. The medical industry is now seen as more “institutional” rather than being a familiar doctor to group of doctors that patients have treated with for a number of years.

This trend is similar to what is being observed in other Pennsylvania counties, especially around Philadelphia County. Historically, medical malpractice plaintiffs in the counties surrounding Philadelphia have faced an uphill battle, even in the most egregious cases of negligence. The shift in Philadelphia’s surrounding counties has been attributed to changing political affiliations, demographics, and attitudes toward hospitals, insurance companies and corporations.

The Pennsylvania medical malpractice lawyers at Lopez McHugh, LLP can assist you in considering your legal options for below standard medical care. If you have suffered a serious injury because of an incorrect or delayed diagnosis, a prescription medication error, or a birth injury we may be able to help you pursue your legal claims. There is no cost or obligation for the initial consultation and your information will be kept confidential.