Health Courts?

75 Pages Posted: 26 Aug 2007

See all articles by Philip G. Peters Jr.

Philip G. Peters Jr.

University of Missouri at Columbia - School of Law


This Article undertakes the first detailed critique of the proposal from Common Good and the Harvard School of Public Health to replace medical malpractice jury trials with adjudication before specialized health courts. Professor Peters concludes that the modest benefits likely to be produced by the current health court proposal are matched by the risks of bias and overreaching that these courts would also present. Missing from the plan is the doctrinal change mostly likely to improve patient safety - hospital enterprise liability. Without enterprise liability, the health court proposal is unlikely to achieve its patient safety goals and, as a result, simply does not offer sufficient benefits to justify the risk.

Suggested Citation

Peters, Philip G., Health Courts?. U of Missouri-Columbia School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2007-15, Boston University Law Review, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN:

Philip G. Peters (Contact Author)

University of Missouri at Columbia - School of Law ( email )

Missouri Avenue & Conley Avenue
Hulston Hall
Columbia, MO 65211
United States
573-882-8274 (Phone)


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