More Malpractice Claims Resolved by Arbitration
The use of binding arbitration, rather than the court system, to resolve medical malpractice claims has become more common, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
According to the Inquirer, supporters maintain that binding arbitration is "faster, cheaper and fairer than trials," but opponents "say the secretive system can be weighted against consumers" and it can be "harder to track complaints or build legal precedents" through arbitration.
Many physicians on the West Coast have begun to ask patients to sign binding arbitration agreements, and the trend has begun to spread nationwide, according to legal experts. In addition, many nursing homes ask patients to sign such agreements, experts said.
Eugene Rosov, who operates two malpractice insurers that recommend such agreements, said, "This agreement is better for doctors and for patients," adding, "The only person it's bad for is the plaintiffs' attorneys" (Burling, Philadelphia Inquirer, 2/10).