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Malpractice Jury Awards Jump By 40 Percent

Wed., Dec. 27, 1995

The median medical malpractice jury award in the United States rose to $500,000 in 1995 - 40 percent higher than last year, according to a private research group.

The increase from a median award of $356,000 in 1994 marked a return to 1993’s record-setting half million dollar levels, Jury Verdict Research Inc. said in a report released Tuesday.

The number of $1 million jury awards also increased, the group said, with 35 percent hitting that level in 1995 compared to 27 percent in 1994.

Jury Verdict Research is a division of LRP Publications, which publishes newsletters for the legal profession.

The Physician Insurers Association of America, responding to the report, noted that 70 percent of claims filed against doctors never result in any payment to people who file medical malpractice lawsuits.

And 80 percent of cases that go to trial are decided in favor of the defendant, said the Health Care Liability Alliance, a lobbying coalition for 29 groups, including the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Healthcare Attorneys and the Health Insurance Association of America.

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