Obstacles Block Testing New Ways to Resolve Medical Malpractice Cases

In 1997, staff from the Private Adjudication Center, an affiliate (no longer in existence) of Duke University School of Law, wrote a paper and held a conference examining issues regarding the use of court-ordered arbitration in medical malpractice cases.

Court-ordered arbitration allows parties to obtain an informed decision based on evidence and controlling legal principles without the large expenditure of time and money that is likely to accompany a full-blown trial in a complex case.

The project was part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Improving Malpractice Prevention and Compensation Systems national program.

Key Results

  • Project staff produced a 17-page paper outlining the operation of a model court-ordered arbitration system for medical malpractice cases.
  • Project staff held a two-day conference at Duke University at which the Mass Tort Litigation Committee (a group of 20 state judges from 18 states formed to consider special problems presented by complex litigation) focused on the use of court-ordered alternative dispute resolution in medical malpractice cases.

    The conference took place on September 19–20, 1997, in Durham, N.C.