Connecticut’s New Mediation Law No Panacea, Say Med-Mal Lawyers
Side note: In an effort to lower the cost of medical malpractice insurance in Connecticut lawmakers have imposed mandatory mediation in all medical malpractice cases. According to the new law all medical malpractice cases must undergo a 120 day period of mediation. After the period of mediation expires, if the two sides cannot come upon an agreement, the case will proceed to trial.
Connecticut law makers imposed the period of mediation as an alternative to caps on medical malpractice lawsuits that are popular in many cases. Attorneys and lawmakers alike agree that the mediation period is not a magic cure-all but agree that it may help to weed some of the nuisance law suits that tend to drive up the cost of medical malpractice insurance coverage.
According to our unique, historical data, medical malpractice insurance rates in Connecticut have remained stable in recent years but have not decreased from the highs established in 2005. Connecticut law makers hope that the mandatory mediation period will help maintain, if not lower, the cost of medical malpractice insurance in the state on Connecticut.
by Thomas B. Scheffey
The Connecticut Law Tribune
Plaintiff and defense lawyers are trying to gauge the overall impact of a new state mandate requiring mediation in medical malpractice cases.
So far, the apparent consensus is the new law may take smaller cases off the litigation track, but won’t resolve big-ticket cases that require the opinions of experts and extensive discovery.
The provision, which became effective July 1, calls for the presiding judge in the judicial district where a med-mal case is filed to refer the matter to a 120-day period of mediation or to another form of alternative dispute resolution “before the close of the pleadings.”
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