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How Do the Elderly Fare in Medical Malpractice Litigation, Before and After Tort Reform? Evidence from Texas

31 Pages Posted: 16 May 2010 Last revised: 13 May 2012

Myungho Paik

Hanyang University - College of Policy Science

Bernard S. Black

Northwestern University - Pritzker School of Law; Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

David A. Hyman

Georgetown University

William M. Sage

University of Texas at Austin School of Law; University of Texas at Austin - Dell Medical School

Charles Silver

University of Texas at Austin - School of Law

Date Written: May 12, 2012

Abstract

The elderly account for a disproportionate share of medical spending, but little is known about how they are treated by the medical malpractice system, or how tort reform affects elderly claimants. We compare paid medical malpractice claims brought by elderly plaintiffs in Texas during 1988-2009 to those brought by adult non-elderly plaintiffs. Controlling for healthcare utilization, elderly paid claims rose from 20% to 66% of the adult non-elderly rate, and mean and median payments per claim converged, although the elderly were far less likely to receive large payments. Tort reform strongly affected claim rates and payouts for both groups, but disproportionately reduced payouts to elderly claimants. We thus find evidence of convergence between the elderly and the adult non-elderly in both claim rates and payouts, which is interrupted by tort reform.

Keywords: Elderly, Malpractice, Claiming, Tort Reform

JEL Classification: K23, K32, I11, I18

Suggested Citation

Paik, Myungho and Black, Bernard S. and Hyman, David A. and Sage, William M. and Silver, Charles, How Do the Elderly Fare in Medical Malpractice Litigation, Before and After Tort Reform? Evidence from Texas (May 12, 2012). Northwestern Law & Econ Research Paper No. 09-24; American Law and Economics Review, Forthcoming 2012; Northwestern Law & Econ Research Paper No. 09-24; U Illinois Law & Economics Research Paper No. LE09-009; U of Texas Law, Law and Econ Research Paper No. 137. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1605331 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1605331

Myungho Paik

Hanyang University - College of Policy Science ( email )

222 Wangsimni-ro Seongdong-gu
Seoul, 04763
Korea, Republic of (South Korea)

Bernard Black

Northwestern University - Pritzker School of Law ( email )

375 E. Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
United States
312-503-2784 (Phone)

Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management

2001 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208
United States
847-491-5049 (Phone)

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

Brussels
Belgium

David Hyman (Contact Author)

Georgetown University ( email )

Washington, DC 20057
United States

William Sage

University of Texas at Austin School of Law ( email )

727 East Dean Keeton Street
Austin, TX 78705
United States

University of Texas at Austin - Dell Medical School ( email )

Austin, TX 78712

Charles Silver

University of Texas at Austin - School of Law ( email )

727 East Dean Keeton Street
Austin, TX 78705
United States
512-232-1337 (Phone)
512-232-1372 (Fax)

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