Medical malpractice litigation

Medical malpractice litigation

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In recent years, medical malpractice claims have been increasing, resulting each year in about 15,000 new medical-legal disputes pending in Italian Courts.

People are increasingly unwilling to tolerate the slightest harm, whether physical or emotional, resulting from inadequate or incorrect information from health care providers.

For the majority of these cases, the liability is not related to the behaviour of any single member of the medical staff, but to the structure in which they work.

However the increasing number of medical malpractice litigations regarding hospital and professional liability is also encouraged by a newly established case-law, sanctioned by the United Sections sentence no. 577 of January 11, 2008 which modified the claims procedure making it easier.

For this reason, insurance companies are starting to refuse to cover medical professionals, since the compensation for accidents costs 3 times the amount the insurance company receives for the policy.

The Italian Government  is trying to curb this phenomenon, with Decree 28/2010, according to which, both parts shall not apply directly to the Courts but shall try the path of conciliation, first.

Therefore, the role of Mediators will be crucial since they will have the unenviable task of finding a synthesis between opposing parties in order to avoid litigation.

A positive sign is that at the moment, this solution seems welcomed by medical professionals. Now we only have to wait and see how the role of the lawyer will change this new social phenomenon.

(by Jacopo Metta on www.giornaledipuglia.com, 17 September 2010)

 For more information on this subject, please contact Jacopo Metta.

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