Medical malpractice lawsuits in Florida are an indication to the state’s Department of Health that a doctor may be a potential danger to current and future patients. Regardless of the outcome of the case, the state is required by law to review those cases, identify problem doctors and take appropriate action on their license to practice medicine. Doctors could receive an emergency suspension order, probation, long-term suspension or revocation.
However, a recent investigation by journalists at The Sun Sentinel revealed that of the 24,000 closed state and federal medical malpractice lawsuits in Florida over the last 10 years, disciplinary charges were filed by the state only 128 times. That breaks down to one-half of 1 percent. A majority of medical malpractice lawsuits in Florida are settled prior to trial, but reporters discovered even those that ended in a jury verdict for the plaintiff rarely resulted in any action from the state board.
What this means is doctors who have been proven to place their patients’ well-being and lives and jeopardy are continuing to practice without sanction, restriction or oversight. Medical malpractice insurance typically covers the monetary damages as determined, and the physician continues on without further action. Continue reading →