Medical malpractice awards in New York were almost double that of the next closest state. Awards in malpractice lawsuits paid out roughly $690 million in New York last year, nearly twice that of second-ranked Pennsylvania, which saw $357 million in payouts. New York is also the clear leader on per capita payouts, averaging $39 per resident with Pennsylvania trailing at $25 per resident. New Jersey is third in per capita payouts.
There is an ongoing battle over the appropriateness of caps on medical malpractice awards. Some argue caps keep malpractice insurance affordable and protect against runaway verdicts, while others say they’re detrimental to severely injured patients. Only 15 states lack caps altogether, including New York and Pennsylvania, and caps have been overturned in at least ten others.
Independent of the cap debate, medical malpractice lawsuits are significant. According to Jeremy Gower of Diederich Healthcare, Payouts overall rose 4.7 percent between 2012 and 2013 to $3.7 billion.
For more information, read the Washington Post.