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Frivolous litigation does not block up the court system along with frivolous lawsuits are not a major provider on the rising of the malpractic insurance cost, according to investigators here.

Claims were reviewed by board-certified physicians, fellows or final year surgical residents. The claims were reviewed for adverse outcome as well as for medical error, which was defined using this definition from the Institute of Medicine: “the failure of a planned action to be completed as intended (i.e., error of planning) or the use of a wrong plan to achieve an aim (i.e., error of planning).”

Although the popular image of frivolous litigation is that of meritless suits pushed by “opportunistic lawyers” for whom the “chances of winning are reasonable and the prospective returns in the event of win are high.” The reality does not support that scenario, according to Harvard researchers.

“Rather, our findings underscore how difficult it may be for plaintiffs and their attorneys to discern what has happened before the initiation of a claim and the acquisition of knowledge that comes from the investigations, consultation with experts, and sharing of information that litigation triggers,” they wrote.

For more information on this subject, please refer to our section on Medical Malpractice and Negligent Care.

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