Arizona Patients Must Prove Medical Malpractice by New, Higher Standards

12/12/2008 | Medical Malpractice

Fortunately this isn't a story about a Kentucky lawmaker (but it very well could be considering who our senate leader is and the fact he has made tort reform one of his primary objectives).
A senior Arizona state senator is introducing a bill to make a emergency room patient prove medical negligence by a "clear and convincing" standard.
While this may not seem significant, it is. In Arizona, like Kentucky, a patient is required to prove a doctor committed malpractice.  The standard is "more likely than not."  Even with this standard, physicians win negligence suits 80-90% of the time.  The "clear and convincing" standard is significantly higher. The standard is usually reserved for situations that go beyond mere negligence, were the plaintiff must prove the at fault party did something more than simply "make a mistake."  
If a jury were to have to find negligence by a "clear and convincing" standard, I hate to see how many victims of medical malpractice would go without justice. I dare say a lot.


hans