A jury in one of New York’s most conservative counties recently returned a $130 million verdict in a medical-malpractice case, the second-largest in the state’s history. Lawyers for the losing hospital decried a “jury out of control” and called for more tort reform. Before the case went to trial, their offer of an $8 million settlement was turned down.
What the defense lawyers seemed not to realize is that tort reform hasn’t worked for 25 years. And large verdicts may be the most effective drivers in making health care safer.