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Blacklisting Medical Malpractice Plaintiffs

This article, "Web Site Encourages Blacklist of Med-Mal Plaintiffs" (Law.com 7/25/06), reports on Litipages.com, a Web site that  lists the names of  plaintiffs who have filed medical malpractice cases in Florida and their attorneys. According to the article, the Web site has two purposes:

[Litipages] encourages doctors to consider avoiding patients who are listed in the database, and it strongly encourages plaintiffs who have lost their cases at trial to turn around and sue their plaintiffs attorney. "If your attorney proceeded with a lawsuit without warning you of the risks involved, you may be the victim of Legal Malpractice and may be entitled to compensation," the site states.

I have to admit that I don't quite get the logic behind Litipages. For example, the site says that it publicizes the names of plaintiffs who file a malpractice case and fail to win at a jury trial. But often, the most meritorious medical malpractice cases settle. So the site penalizes plaintiffs who file cases with merit.

Litipages tries to sell its value to attorneys by suggesting that they can sue attorneys who bring malpractice cases and lose. But if a lawyer can successfully recover from a medical malpractice attorney who lost a case, doesn't that imply that the underlying cause of action had merit? 

If doctors really want to avoid plaintiffs who file lawsuits, they can easily run background checks on them; malpractice complaints are a matter of public record. And because complaints are public record, I'd have no problem with a Web site that provides the actual complaints, without any commentary on the merits. But what Litipages seeks to do doesn't offer much value as far as I can tell and,  in fact, doesn't seem to make much sense at all.

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on July 25, 2006 at 05:24 PM | Permalink | Comments (10)

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