The AP/Houston Chronicle reports published in the New England Journal of Medicine says that about 40% of the medical malpractice claims filed in the U.S. are groundless.
For the study, researchers from Harvard University examined 1,452 malpractice claims randomly selected from five insurers that were resolved between 1984 and 2004.
The study finds that 3% of the claims were filed by patients who did not experience injuries. Among patients who experienced injuries, about two-thirds resulted because of medical errors, and 73% of claims filed by those patients were settled with payment, the study finds. In addition, among the 37% of claims filed by patients who experienced injuries that did not result because of medical errors, 72% were dismissed or resolved without payment, according to the study.
In total, the claims resulted in $449 million in verdicts and settlements, and groundless claims accounted for about 15% of that amount, the study finds.