Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Malpractice Suits Drop in Ohio

Posted By on Mon, Apr 16, 2012 at 2:00 PM

Sorry buddy, no case here.
  • "Sorry buddy, no case here."

Ohioans aren't successfully suing their doctors at quite the same clip, according the figures released recently from the state. But this by no means indicates medical professionals are getting tidier on the job, just that Ohio's astringent tort-reform law is having the intended effect – making it more difficult for average folks to squeeze out just compensation for medical fuck-ups and fumbled judgment.

The law went on the books in 2003 after doctors and medical associations jangled the chain of the Ohio GOP about the rising cost of malpractice insurance. Among other red tape, the legislation put a cap on the dollar amount courts could award for “pain and suffering”: $500,000.

Now just under a decade since tort-reformed passed, the numbers indicate closed claims of malpractice dropped 41 percent between 2005 and 2010, according to the Columbus Dispatch. The numbers also indicate average payout for a successful claim has dropped 38 percent.

The results are clear in the 2010 annual report: Closed claims dropped to 2,988, the lowest level since the state began keeping records in 2005, and total payments dropped to $175million, more than $100million lower than five years earlier.

In addition, doctors’ medical malpractice rates have dropped more than 26 percent, according to Tim Maglione, of the Ohio State Medical Association.

To hang an actual face to these dry state, we'll point you toward our November story, "No Guts, No Glory," a piece on a Lakewood couple who suffered through the harsh after-effects of a botched medical procedure but had no legal options for restitution. When you stop talking about digits and start considering people, the whole report takes on some new gravity.

Tags: , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

December 1, 2021

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2021 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation