State of Florida Seldom Punishes Doctors for Malpractice
While doctors have medical malpractice lawsuits filed against them when medical negligence causes an injury to their patient, there are also state and institutional sanctions that can be levied against doctors who make egregious or continual mistakes.
A report released by the South Florida Sun Sentinel reviewed over 24,000 cases of medical malpractice with only 128 resulting in disciplinary action. The Florida Department of Health is required to review all medical malpractice lawsuits filed against doctors in the State of Florida. But a spokesperson for the Health Department said that cases under $50,000 are allegedly not reviewed.
Why Cases Under $50,000 Should be Reviewed
The health department not reviewing cases under $50,000 eliminates roughly 70% of all medical malpractice cases. The other major problem with that is that just because a lawsuit results in a multi-million dollar payout doesn’t mean that the doctor’s conduct was necessarily more egregious than a doctor whose medical negligence results in a $25,000 payout.
Payouts are not necessarily determined based on how poor a doctor’s medical decision making is. There can be a multitude of factors that determine the amount of the payout in medical malpractice claims. Regardless of the payout amount, the health department should investigate doctors whose mistakes were so egregious that they present a danger to the public.
Is There a Regulation Problem?
Doctors and their malpractice insurance providers are required to report malpractice lawsuits to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation—regardless of whether or not the case against the doctor is successful. That being said, it’s the responsibility of the Florida Department of Health to take action against doctors who cannot or can no longer do not perform their duties at the same standard of care as their profession requires. Ultimately, the responsibility for punishing disciplining doctors who fail this standard of care repeatedly falls on Florida’s regulatory system to address. Talk to a Florida Medical Malpractice Attorney
The St. Petersburg medical malpractice lawyer Masterson & Hoag, P.A. has successfully litigated a number of medical malpractice lawsuits with successful results. If you or someone you love has been injured by a negligent doctor, give us a call or contact us online. We can help.