In discussing its endorsement of Gordon Maag for the Illinois Supreme Court, the Edwardsville Intelligencer points out why it's way too simplistic to argue that doctors are leaving the county because of "frivolous lawsuits"--
Between 1996 and 2003, 320 medical malpractice cases were filed in Madison County. In some instances, those cases went no further than the filing stage. Further, 162 cases were dismissed, either because they were dropped or because of out-of-court settlements.
Only 11 cases resulted in verdicts -- and seven of them favored the defendant. The cases decided for the plaintiff resulted in awards ranging from $25,000 to $1.78 million.
Over that eight-year period, that's an average of 40 medical malpractices cases per year filed in Madison County.
While we don't have much basis for comparison, that seems to be a pretty low total compared to the thousands and thousands of medical procedures performed each year by our doctors.
And only four cases won by plaintiffs? That's one every two years.