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March 23, 1957


JAMA. 1957;163(12):1055-1071. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.82970470010016

Introduction1  Throughout the United States and England medical malpractice lawsuits are alarmingly on the increase. So are the size of the verdicts rendered therein.Newsweek Magazine reports:2 "Some 5,000 cases are now being tried each year with thousands of other cases settled out of court. Since 1950, one out of every 35 doctors insured under the New York State Medical Society's group-insurance plan has been sued in the courts for malpractice."The chairman of the District of Columbia Medical Society Professional Liability Insurance Committee (where recently 115 malpractice cases were pending and the doctors found all group insurance withdrawn from them) states:3 "Only about one in seven or eight of the district cases shows any voluntary negligence on the doctor's part. Nonetheless, the doctor loses about one in four cases."England's experience is the same:4 "The flood of claims against doctors which has been steadily rising