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Research Shows Medical Malpractice Juries are on the Side of Doctors

A study by Philip Peters Jr., of the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law found that contrary to popular belief, juries treat doctors favorably, which in turn end most medical malpractice lawsuits in defense verdicts. Peters' study included data on medical malpractice cases from several states, among them, New Jersey. Although his research did not provide unanimous results, the results were "startlingly consistent."

Possible reasons for juries' defense verdicts include skepticism of patients who sue their doctor, and credibility of doctors. It may be simply that cases with strong evidence against a doctor settle before trial or that doctors can afford better lawyers and expert witnesses. Whatever the reason, Peters concludes that pity or favoritism toward an injured patient generally does not enter into the juries' thinking.

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