Florida Doctors are Drowning in a Wave of Lawsuits, Malpractice Law Changes Needed

Dear Florida Jolt Editor,

The struggle of working in Florida’s healthcare industry was a well-documented issue during the height of the pandemic. Supply and staff shortages, funding concerns, and general misinformation created an environment that was nearly impossible to endure, even on the best days. But, as the pandemic has subsided, there are still other problems that remain. And at the top of the list is malpractice lawsuits.

In recent years, Florida has become a hotbed for medical malpractice lawsuits. Many out-of-state attorneys have even set up shop in our state, lured by the promise of rich rewards. This trend is attributable to a variety of unique factors, including the state’s large elderly population and its popularity as a tourist destination.

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The result is that doctors are drowning under a wave of lawsuits, and their insurance premiums skyrocketing, as well as ours.

Florida lawmakers need to change the state’s medical malpractice laws in a way that would not invite even more lawsuit abuse. We need lawsuit reforms that will not make it easier for plaintiffs to win large judgments and that will discourage attorneys from filing frivolous litigation in the first place.

If appropriate improvements to these laws are not made, Florida will become even less hospitable to doctors, and many will be forced to leave the state.

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And this would be a disaster for patients, as they would have fewer choices and be forced to travel long distances for care. The quality of healthcare in Florida would be jeopardized as more and more hospitals are forced to close their doors.

Our lawmakers need to focus on lawsuit reforms that foster a more stable and predictable legal environment for patients and doctors.

 

Sheila Wilson

North Port, FL


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