Report Shows New York is Medical Malpractice Payout Leader (Georgia ranked #23)


By: Scott Rees
Recently, Diederich Healthcare, a professional liability insurance provider, reported several interesting statistics regarding medical malpractice payouts for year 2013.  The full report can be found at  Below are a few interesting facts from that report:

  • New York was the payout leader.  New York, long known as a plaintiff friendly jurisdiction, confirmed that belief in 2013, with over $300 million being paid out.  This equates to a per capita payout of $38.83, far and away the highest per capita payout of any state.
  • Georgia’s per capita payout was $8.73, ranking it 23rd overall.  Per capita, North Dakota was last at $2.96.
  • Payouts increased for the first time in a decade.  In 2013, $3.7 billion was paid out, representing a 4.7% increase from 2012.  This is the first time in a decade that payouts are on the rise.
  • Diagnosis issues comprise the top spot.  The report indicated that diagnosis mistakes accounted for 33% of all payouts.
  • The second spot belonged to surgical mistakes (23%)
  • Treatment issues came in at third (18%)
  • Settlements account for the majority of payouts.  Not surprisingly, the report shows that settlements accounted for 96% of all payouts.
  • Judgment amounts down.  The research indicated that when a malpractice claim went to judgment, the average amount was down by $200,000.  The number of payments decided by judgment went down from 5% to 3%.

Some interesting statistics, although it is unclear why certain states have payouts so much higher than others.  There could be a number of explanations for such statistics (skewed results in any given year; lack of reporting; caps vs. no caps, concentration of wealth, etc.).  I invite readers to comment on these results and provide any explanation they may have.