Comparing Certain Aspects of U.S. and Costa Rican Medical Malpractice Compensation Systems: Bad News for Costa Ricans and Medical Tourists to Costa Rica?

18 Pages Posted: 7 Jan 2013 Last revised: 11 Feb 2013

See all articles by Roy G. Spece

Roy G. Spece

University of Arizona - James E. Rogers College of Law

Federico Torrealba

Universidad de Costa Rica

Carmen Downing

University of Arizona

Rose Ibanez

Law Offices of Rose Marie Ibanez

Date Written: January 4, 2013

Abstract

A primary goal of this article is to provide certain information useful to medical tourists, Costa Rican professionals or laypersons, and scholars (including comparativists) who wish to consider or study the prospects of one being able to obtain compensation in Costa Rica for harm caused by deficient medical care delivered in Costa Rica. (It might also, likely combined with existing literature, offer insights into medical tourism and legal liability generally.) Medical tourists particularly might need the information provided in this article when deciding to seek services in Costa Rica because they might consider it important that it could be very difficult or impossible for them to bring suit in the U.S. (or whatever country they might be from) or to enforce a home country judgment in Costa Rica even if the potential defendants did not have them sign an agreement to resolve any disputes in Costa Rica. This information is limited to a general description of: (1) the basic steps in a Costa Rican “medical malpractice” case compared to those steps in a U.S. matter, (2) some practical difficulties plaintiffs might face in obtaining compensation for injuries in Costa Rica, (3) some soft data concerning the relative frequency and success of medical malpractice claims in Costa Rica and the United States, and (4) the possible relevance of (1) to (3) in decision-making or study regarding seeking medical care or pursuing a medical malpractice complaint in Costa Rica.

Keywords: Costa Rica, medical malpractice compensation systems, medical tourism, medical tourists

Suggested Citation

Spece, Roy G. and Torrealba, Federico and Downing, Carmen and Ibanez, Rose, Comparing Certain Aspects of U.S. and Costa Rican Medical Malpractice Compensation Systems: Bad News for Costa Ricans and Medical Tourists to Costa Rica? (January 4, 2013). 30 Arizona Journal of International and Comparative Law ___ (2013, Forthcoming); Arizona Legal Studies Discussion Paper No. 13-01. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2196645 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2196645

Roy G. Spece (Contact Author)

University of Arizona - James E. Rogers College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 210176
Tucson, AZ 85721-0176
United States

Federico Torrealba

Universidad de Costa Rica ( email )

San Jose
United States

Carmen Downing

University of Arizona ( email )

Department of History
Tucson, AZ 85721
United States

Rose Ibanez

Law Offices of Rose Marie Ibanez ( email )

Tucson, AR
United States

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