Medical Malpractice Litigation: Tort Threat

Medical malpractice litigation and fallout from the financial crisis could fuel future growth in U.S. tort costs, according to the latest update from Towers Perrin. The warning came as Towers Perrin reported that U.S. tort costs are expected to increase by 3 percent in 2009, and a further 4 percent in 2010 and 6 percent in 2011. Looking beyond 2009 and probably 2010, Towers Perrin said medical malpractice is very susceptible to a quick change given its costs. “This area of tort costs could see a return to the growth rates seen in the mid-1970s, mid-1980s and for a brief time, earlier in this decade,† it observed. That said, despite the chaos in the financial markets in 2008, U.S. tort costs remained relatively benign, rising by $2.7 billion (1.1 percent) in 2008. This was due to several factors, including a decrease in miles driven, which kept personal auto and commercial auto costs in check. Medical malpractice costs also decreased slightly in 2008, according to Towers Perrin. Check out a recent I.I.I. paper on the Tort Threat and information on medical malpractice.

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