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October 10, 1977

Medical Malpractice and Negligence: Sociodemographic Characteristics of Claimants and Nonclaimants

JAMA. 1977;238(15):1656-1658. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03280160050027

We compared a sample of 200 patients who filed a claim of malpractice or negligence against a large urban teaching hospital and its physicians, with a randomly drawn sample of 549 patients who had never filed a claim against the hospital. The two groups were compared on distributions by race, religion, occupation, age, and sex. In proportion to their representation in the control group, whites filed significantly more claims than nonwhites (P <.001), Jewish people filed more claims than Protestants, and blue-collar workers brought fewer claims than white-collar or retired/unemployed workers. Claimants were significantly older than nonclaimants (P <.05). Women filed a statistically nonsignificant greater number of claims than men did (P>.20).

(JAMA 238:1656-1658, 1977)