Study details medical malpractice history for 2 Illinois counties

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted July 19, 2004

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During the past four years, more than half of the physicians or physician practices in Madison and St. Clair counties in Illinois were named in medical malpractice lawsuits, according to an Illinois Civil Justice League study released June 29. The study found that 1,082 defendants were named in 422 lawsuits filed between 2000 and 2003 in the two counties just east of St. Louis.

Physicians made up 53%of the 1,082 named defendants. Practices accounted for 19% of the defendants and hospitals were named 28% of the time.

Illinois Civil Justice League President Edward D. Murnane said the study shows that it's not only "bad doctors" who account for the increase in medical liability insurance costs.

"In counties where 72% to 85% of the claims are frivolous and result in no payment to the plaintiff, hundreds of doctors are being wrongly abused by the court system," he said in a statement.

The Illinois Civil Justice League is a coalition of Illinois citizens, businesses, professional societies, nonprofit organizations and local governments working for fairness in the state's justice system. The study is available online, in pdf (link).

Note: This item originally appeared at

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