It’s relatively rare for medical malpractice cases to go to trial; most are resolved before they reach that point. In the University’s case, this happened only four times, and the jury sided with the University and its doctors in each of them.
Juries tend to side with doctors in malpractice cases. Some estimates put the ratio of defense verdicts at 90 percent of cases. Plaintiffs’ attorneys say it’s just that jurors don’t have a comprehensive knowledge of medical topics and therefore trust the doctor’s evaluation of the situation.
In recent years, there’s been a lot of "tort reform propaganda" working to convince the public that frivolous medical malpractice lawsuits are driving up health care costs, said Joanne Doroshow, executive director of the Center for Justice & Democracy, a consumer advocacy group focused on the civil justice system.
"There’s a PR campaign that’s been pretty effective in polluting the jury pools in the country," she said. "There’s not less negligence — in fact there’s more of it — but the juries are reluctant to want to hit the doctor with a verdict."
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