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Civil Litigation Archives

Medical Malpractice Suits Down in Pennsylvania

Our Administrative Office Of Pennsylvania Courts just reported that malpractice suits are down 10% from last year to 1508 from 1675 in 2011. In Philadelphia, our State's largest venue for malpractice suits, the number of cases was 389, the second lowest in a decade. Why? In 2002, the Legislature pased the MCARE Act which changed the landscape of many issues, particularly expert opinion evidence and damages. The Supreme Court also promulgated a number of rules, including a venue rule that requires a malpractice suit to be brought in the county where the event occurred and a Certificate of Merit rule designed to assure physician based probable cause to initiate a case. The trend as a result of the "reforms" has shown a statewide drop in cases without more drastice measures such as capping damages. Doctors are not leaving the State, specialities are covered, but errors continue at an unacceptable rate. And, with all the reform and resultant reduction in the number of lawsuits, premiums have not gone down as the carriers enjoy record profit. Truth: Only 1 in 5 medical malpractice cases pay so lawyers are only bringing meritorious cases with causally related damages that warrant the long term costly commitment to litigation. Truth: About 7.5% of doctors have a claim filed against them each year with fewer than 2% of doctors each year subject to a successful claim where an insurer had to pay a settlement or court judgment. Truth: The sum of medical malpractice payment made on behalf of doctors is only about 0.12% of total U.S. healthcare costs; the total cost of medical liability insurance is only about 0.36% of total healthcare costs. It's long overdue that Doctors and Hospitals unite against the carriers, government and industry that deny them fair reimbursement, that turn their offices into billing departments requiring computerized physician-patient records that are destroying the communication needed for proper differential diagnosis and treatment. The problem is not with trial lawyers or the American tort system. It is time to stand up or there willl some day be a nationalized medical standard of care and remedial system to address error where patient rights and safety are lost and the profession of medicine is reduced to systematic practices set by the government and industry.

Unprotected anonymous Free Speech may lead to civil litigation

Be careful what you post on the Internet as it may lead to a lawsuit and complicated civil litigation.  We all know that our anonymous postings are protected by the First Amendment right to free and protected speech.  But not everything we say is protected.  We all know you can't go into a movie theater and yell, "Fire!".  That type of speech can lead to harm to many, and the law does not protect it.  In the same fashion, the law does not protect defamatory speech.  If you post that someone has committed a crime or has been unfaithful to a spouse, you may find yourself the subject of a lawsuit to learn your identity, and to seek and recover money damages from you.  Your homeowners insurance will not cover you, which means you may have to pay hard earned money for a moment of irrational thought calling someone a criminal or a cheat, when it is not true.  There are means of discovering who you are through the internet by asking your Internet Providers (IP) to disclose your identity.  So beware!  Be careful what you post about someone, and don't think you can get away with hiding behind the anonymity of the Internet to protect you.  The case law in Pennsylvania in this civil litigation area is just developing in this area, and the lawyers at Rubin Glickman Steinberg and Gifford are in the forefront of the emerging legal developments.

Best Lawyers | Best Law Firms | US News 2018
  • RGS&G Firm News

    Attorney Amy R. Stern, a partner at the Lansdale law firm of Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg and Gifford, P.C, is co-presenting a seminar entitled Divorce 101 along with Marc Silverman, Senior Loan Officer of GMH Mortgage Services.Read more...

  • Super Lawyers | Rising Stars
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  • PennSuburban | Chamber of commerce

Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg and Gifford has been a member of the local Penn Suburban Chamber of Commerce (previously known as North Penn Suburban Chamber of Commerce) for more than 25 years.

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