According to the Tennessee 2009 Medical Malpractice Claims Report, the total number of medical malpractice cases closed in 2008 in Tennessee was 3,154. The closed cases included those resolved by settlement, final court judgment, and by alternate dispute resolution such as arbitration and mediation. The total damages paid in medical malpractice cases in 2008 was $119,318,433, down from $126,225,495 in 2007 (but up from $105,174,796 in 2006). At the end of 2008, there were 5,780 claims still pending.
In 2008, there were 426 court judgments, of which 420 were in favor of the defendants. Only 5 of the judgments were in favor of the plaintiffs.
The claimants’ attorneys received $38,802,222 in attorneys’ fees in 2008, which was 32.52% of the total recoveries received by claimants. The total defense costs in 2008 was $87,424,366, of which $73,551,217 was paid to defense attorneys.
Of the claims closed in 2008, 556 were related to treatment, 378 were related to diagnosis, 323 were related to monitoring, 233 were related to surgery, 127 were related to obstetrics, 103 were related to medication, 67 were related to equipment or products, 66 were related to anesthesia, 45 were related to IV and blood products, and 1,211 were categorized as “other miscellaneous.”
The top 10 categories as far as payments made in 2008 (payments from the inception of the claims) were, in descending order, treatment related, monitoring related, obstetrics related, “other miscellaneous,” diagnosis related, surgery related, IV and blood products related, medication related, equipment and product related, and anesthesia related.
With regard to age groups for claims closed in 2008, the largest number of claims closed was for the 21 to 49 age group (777) and the least number was for the 14 to 20 age group (77).
There were 538 death claims paid in 2008 for a total of $60,633,764 paid, representing 36.89% of the amount paid for closed claims in 2008.
2,208 of the claims closed in 2008 were for incidents that occurred in Tennessee, with a total payment in the amount of $118,945,945 (Shelby County had the highest percentage of claims closed in 2008 — 34.05% of the total). Shelby County also had the largest amount of payments, $66,018,729, representing 40.15% of the total payments made in 2008.
For claims closed in 2008, medical and surgery (physician) represented the greatest number of claims (1,888), followed by nursing (211), “other” (158), dentist (73), nursing home administrator (61), nursing APN specialties (36), osteopathic medicine (24), podiatry (24), emergency medical personnel (20), and pharmacy (18).
With regard to the provider specialties for the claims closed in 2008, the largest number of claims was for physicians (1,621), followed by “unknown” (181), registered nurse (177), emergency physician (100), radiologist (77), dental/dental surgeon/oral surgeon (55), nursing home administrator (45), anesthesiologist (41), “other” (35), and nurse practitioner (28).
With regard to type of facility for the claims closed in 2008, the largest number was for hospitals (459), followed by nursing homes (42), “other” (29), ambulatory surgical treatment center (12), clinic (8), office (7), home care organization (6), surgical facility (6), assisted-care living facility (5), and “unknown” (5).
The total direct medical malpractice insurance premiums collected in 2008 was $220,117,000. The total amounts paid on closed and pending cases in 2008 was $229,301,025.
If you or a family member have been victimized by the medical negligence of a health care provider in Tennessee or in any other State in the United States, please visit our website to be connected to local medical malpractice attorneys who may be able to assist you with your medical malpractice claim. You may also reach us toll free at 800-295-3959.