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Medical Malpractice Reform: Fair and Just Compensation for All

October 23, 1999
By Mary E. Spear

in this document, the authors address medical malpractice.

stethoscope and insurance docs

in this document, the authors address medical malpractice.  They assert that, 

When two or more defendants are liable for a plaintiff’s injury, the rule of joint and severaliability makes each of them liable for the entire amount of damages regardless of the degree of their responsibility. This often produces unfair outcomes when a defendant who is only minimally responsible for plaintiff’s harm may have to pay the entire award because the defendant who is principally responsibleis insolvent, uninsured or outside the court’s jurisdiction. The rule can have the unintended effect of turning a lawsuit into a search for a peripherally involved party whose pockets are deep enough to pay a sizable award. Indeed, rules of liability should provide incentives to those who are most capable of preventing harm.

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Health Care