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    Thursday, November 16, 2006

    Tort Reform II: Ohio has started releasing malpractice trial information to the public. It explains why Northeast Ohio has the highest malpractice premium rates in the state:

    The report counts each medical, dental, optometric or chiropractic claim closed in 2005. Among the findings:

    • 5,051 claims were closed in 2005.

    • Of the 1,046 claims paid to plaintiffs, the total awarded was $281,764,938 -- with an average of $269,374. Six percent of those cases (65 claims) topped $1 million.

    • Almost 80 percent (4,005) of medical malpractice claims resulted in no payment to a plaintiff, though almost all claims generated expenses for investigation and defense, an average of $24,443 per claim.

    Half of the claims -- 2,561 -- came from Northeast Ohio, which had the highest average payment at $303,108, compared to Southeast Ohio at $268,075, Southwest Ohio at $244,453, Central Ohio at $242,354 and Northwest Ohio at $224,235.

    Now do you think that's because there are more incompetent doctors in Northeast Ohio or because there are more personal injury lawyers in Northeast Ohio?

    posted by Sydney on 11/16/2006 06:08:00 AM 3 comments


    Yes - plus there are also more people and probably more doctors in Northeast Ohio.

    John Fembup

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:19 AM  

    According to the US Census Bureau's 2005 population estimates by county, the seven (7) counties that make up the core of Northeast Ohio (Cuyahoga, Lake, Geauga, Portage, Summit, Medina, and Lorain) have 2.8 million residents compared to the seven (7) counties in Central Ohio (Franklin, Delaware, Licking, Fairfield, Pickaway, Madison, and Union) at 1.7 million and the nine (9) counties in Southwest Ohio (Hamilton, Brown, Greene, Montgomery, Preble, Warren, Clinton, Butler, and Clermont) at 2.3 million. More importantly, the AMA's website gives physician statistics by county and those breakout as follows:
    NEO: 13163 physicians
    CO: 6315 physicians
    SWO: 9298 physicians
    I would suggest that there's more to the story than the number of lawyers. I would also agree (did I really say that??) with the attorney quoted in the Akron Beacon-Journal article to which you linked: without the ability to review the raw data, the statistics don't tell us much about. . . much of anything.

    By Anonymous William Bryson, at 10:56 AM  

    Whether or not there are more lawyers is not much of a point. No lawyer ever files a case without a client who has come in to see him.

    Northeast Ohio is more of an urban environment. That is a more meaningful distinction.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:27 PM  

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