Author: Neil Vidmar
Publisher: University of Michigan Press
Release Date: 1997
In this landmark book, Neil Vidmar looks beyond the common perceptions of medical malpractice litigation and finds a system that is fair, impartial, and intelligent. Firmly grounded in a wealth of empirical data, the author presents a fresh look at a civil jury system that has been maligned as out-of-touch, capricious, and disposed to awarding exorbitant, unjustified amounts to plaintiffs whenever they have the opportunity. In an era when tort reform is high on the congressional agenda, Medical Malpractice and the American Jury is almost alone in voicing reason and fact. Written in a thoroughly inviting, jargon-free style, Medical Malpractice and the American Jury places those cases that go to trial in the broader context of litigation, noting that only about ten percent of malpractice cases ever result in trials. Of those that do go to trial, the author notes, more than two out of three cases are decided in the doctor's favor--repudiating the view that jurors are inherently biased against doctors and are motivated more by sympathy for the plaintiff than by the facts of the case. Neil Vidmar comprehensively addresses all the claims that have been leveled against the performance of malpractice juries. For example, he compares actual jury decisions on negligence with neutral physicians' ratings of whether negligence occurred in the medical treatment and finds a remarkable consistency--repudiating the view that jurors are unable to understand experts or uncritically defer to their opinion. "Medical Malpractice and the American Jury is quite simply the most compelling, comprehensive examination of the American jury system yet written. It brings reason and fact to the debate in a way that puts the lie to the many myths surrounding medical negligence cases. For anyone genuinely interested in just solutions, this book should be required reading. To act in ignorance of its findings invites disaster." --Trial "For anyone really interested in the evidence about the daily grind of the courthouse mill, Neil Vidmar's Medical Malpractice and the American Jury is a good place to start." --Washington Post Book World Neil Vidmar is Professor of Social Science and Law, Duke Law School, and Professor of Psychology, Duke University.
Author: Neil Vidmar
Publisher: Prometheus Books
Release Date: 2007
Genre: Social Science
Although the right to trial by jury is enshrined in the U.S. Constitution, in recent years both criminal and civil juries have been criticized as incompetent, biased, and irresponsible. For example, the O.J. Simpson criminal jury's verdict produced a racial divide in opinions about that trial. And many Americans still hold strong views about the jury that awarded millions of dollars to a woman who spilled a cup of McDonald's coffee on herself. It's said that there are judicial hellholes where local juries provide jackpot justice in medical malpractice and product liability cases with corporate defendants. Are these claims valid?This monumental and comprehensive volume reviews over fifty years of empirical research on civil and criminal juries and returns a verdict that strongly supports the jury system. Rather than relying on anecdotes, Vidmar and Hans-renowned scholars of the jury system-place the jury system in its historical and contemporary context, giving the stories behind important trials while providing fact-based answers to critical questions. How do juries make decisions and how do their verdicts compare to those of trial judges and technical experts? What roles do jury consultants play in influencing trial outcomes? Can juries understand complex expert testimony? Under which circumstances do capital juries decide to sentence a defendant to die? Are juries biased against doctors and big business? Should juries be allowed to give punitive damages? How do juries respond to the insanity defense? Do jurors ignore the law?Finally, the authors consider various suggestions for improving the way that juries are asked to carry out their duties. After briefly comparing the American jury to its counterparts in other nations, they conclude that our jury system, despite occasional problems, is, on balance, fair and democratic, and should remain an indispensable component of the judicial process for the foreseeable future.Neil Vidmar, PhD, (Durham, NC), is both the Russell M. Robinson II Professor of Law at Duke University School of Law and a professor of psychology at Duke University. He has published over 100 research articles and is the author, coauthor, or editor of four books including Hans and Vidmar's widely acclaimed Judging the Jury (1986), Medical Malpractice and the American Jury, and World Jury Systems (2000).Valerie P. Hans, PhD (Ithaca, NY), is Professor of Law at Cornell University. She has published more than ninety research papers and articles and is the author, coauthor or editor of five books including Business on Trial (2000); Judging the Jury (1986) and The Jury System (2006). She also serves on the editorial boards of major professional journals in the field of law and social science.
Author: Paul C. Weiler
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Release Date: 1993-01
A Measure of Malpractice tells the story and presents the results of the Harvard Medical Practice Study, the largest and most comprehensive investigation ever undertaken of the performance of the medical malpractice system. The Harvard study was commissioned by the government of New York in 1986, in the midst of a malpractice crisis that had driven insurance premiums for surgeons and obstetricians in New York City to nearly $200,000 a year. The Harvard-based team of doctors, lawyers, economists, and statisticians set out to investigate what was actually happening to patients in hospitals and to doctors in courtrooms, launching a far more informed debate about the future of medical liability in the 1990s. Careful analysis of the medical records of 30,000 patients hospitalized in 1984 showed that approximately one in twenty-five patients suffered a disabling medical injury, one quarter of these as a result of the negligence of a doctor or other provider. After assembling all the malpractice claims filed in New York State since 1975, the authors found that just one in eight patients who had been victims of negligence actually filed a malpractice claim, and more than two-thirds of these claims were filed by the wrong patients. The study team then interviewed injured patients in the sample to discover the actual financial loss they had experienced: the key finding was that for roughly the same dollar amount now being spent on a tort system that compensates only a handful of victims, it would be possible to fund comprehensive disability insurance for all patients significantly disabled by a medical accident. The authors, who came to the project from very different perspectives about the present malpractice system, are now in agreement about the value of a new model of medical liability. Rather than merely tinker with the current system which fixes primary legal responsibility on individual doctors who can be proved medically negligent-legislatures should encourage health care organizations to take responsibility for the financial losses of all patients injured in their care.
Author: Kenneth De Ville
Publisher: NYU Press
Release Date: 1992-04-01
Highly readable . . . . interdisciplinary history of a high order. -- The Historian Well-written and superbly documented . . . . Both physicians and lawyers will find this book useful and fascinating. -- Journal of the American Medical Association This is the first book-length historical study of medical malpractice in 19th-century America and it is exceedingly well done . . . . The author reveals that, beginning in the 1840s, Americans began to initiate malpractice lawsuits against their physicians and surgeons. Among the reasons for this development were the decline in the belief in divine providence, increased competition between physicians and medical sects, and advances in medical science that led to unrealistically high expectations of the ability of physicians to cure . . . . This book is well written, often entertaining and witty, and is historically accurate, based on the best secondary, as well as primary sources from the time period. Highly recommended. -- Choice Adept at not only traditional historical research but also cultural studies, the author treats the reader to an intriguing discussion of how 19th-century Americans came truly to see their bodies differently . . . . a sophisticated new standard in the field of malpractice history. -- The Journal of the Early Republic By far the best compilation and analysis of early medical malpractice cases I have seen . . . . this excellently crafted study is bound to be of interest to a large number of readers. -- James C. Mohr, author of Abortion in America: The Origins and Evolution of a National Policy
Author: Randolph N. Jonakait
Publisher: Yale University Press
Release Date: 2006-10-01
"In this important and accessible book, a prominent expert on constitutional law examines these and other issues concerning the American jury system. Randolph N. Jonakait describes the historical and social pressures that have driven the development of the jury system; contrasts the American jury system to the legal process in other countries; reveals subtle changes in the popular view of juries; examines how the news media, movies, and books portray and even affect the system; and discusses the empirical data that show how juries actually operate and what influences their decisions.
Author: Stephen Daniels
Publisher: Northwestern University Press
Release Date: 1995
Stephen Daniels and Joanne Martin have analyzed patterns in jury verdicts in a number of substantive legal areas, including medical malpractice, products liability, and punitive damages, against the background of the larger political and academic debate over tort reform. Civil Juries and the Politics of Reform brings together and summarizes the authors' extensive empirical research on civil jury verdicts in the context of that debate. Some commentators are arguing that there is a substantial gap between the image of juries and civil justice that is driving tort reform and what is known of the reality of the civil justice system. The authors use their discussion of juries not simply to help inform the policy debate but to analyze tort reform as a public policy issue for what it tells about the policy process itself.
Author: Carl T. Bogus
Publisher: NYU Press
Release Date: 2003-07-01
Judging by the frequency with which it makes an appearance in television news shows and late night stand up routines, the frivolous lawsuit has become part and parcel of our national culture. A woman sues McDonald’s because she was scalded when she spilled her coffee. Thousands file lawsuits claiming they were injured by Agent Orange, silicone breast implants, or Bendectin although scientists report these substances do not cause the diseases in question. The United States, conventional wisdom has it, is a hyperlitigious society, propelled by avaricious lawyers, harebrained judges, and runaway juries. Lawsuits waste money and time and, moreover, many are simply groundless. Carl T. Bogus is not so sure. In Why Lawsuits Are Good for America, Bogus argues that common law works far better than commonly understood. Indeed, Bogus contends that while the system can and occasionally does produce “wrong” results, it is very difficult for it to make flatly irrational decisions. Blending history, theory, empirical data, and colorful case studies, Bogus explains why the common law, rather than being outdated, may be more necessary than ever. As Bogus sees it, the common law is an essential adjunct to governmental regulation—essential, in part, because it is not as easily manipulated by big business. Meanwhile, big business has launched an all out war on the common law. “Tort reform”—measures designed to make more difficult for individuals to sue corporations—one of the ten proposals in the Republican Contract With America, and George W. Bush’s first major initiative as Governor of Texas. And much of what we have come to believe about the system comes from a coordinated propaganda effort by big business and its allies. Bogus makes a compelling case for the necessity of safeguarding the system from current assaults. Why Lawsuits Are Good for America provides broad historical overviews of the development of American common law, torts, products liability, as well as fresh and provocative arguments about the role of the system of “disciplined democracy” in the twenty-first century.
Fully updated in this new edition, Health Care Politics and Policy in America combines a historical overview of U.S. health policy and programs with analysis of current trends and reform efforts. The book -- shows how health policy fits into the larger social, economic, political, and ideological environment of the United States; -- identifies the roles played by both public and private, institutional and individual actors in shaping the health care system at all levels; -- considers the trade-offs inherent in various policy choices and their impacts on different social groups; -- takes account of the dynamic impact of technological change on health care capacities, costs, and ethics. This edition includes expanded discussion of equity issues and whether there is a "right" to health care, and a new chapter on the issue of medical liability. The concluding chapter brings the story of health care policy up to the end of the millennium, with particular attention to the managed care revolution and reaction to it. The book equips readers with the basic tools for drawing more informed judgments in the ongoing debate about health care policy in the United States.