“Western New York is already home to drug courts and mental health courts that have attracted attention for achieving positive results. Now, patterned after an effort originating in the Bronx, Buffalo’s new medical malpractice court is handling cases involving hospitals affiliated with the Catholic and Kaleida Health systems and Erie County Medical Center. Eventually, it is expected to handle all malpractice lawsuits filed in State Supreme Court in Erie County.
The goal, according to Judge Judy Harris Kluger, the state court system’s chief of policy and planning, is to “help speed the process of medical malpractice cases,” aiming to reduce litigation costs and help ensure fair and appropriate resolutions. When fair resolutions are reached in the early stages of a court action, years of litigation and massive legal expenses can be avoided.
Malpractice costs are among the factors that not only drive up the costs of health care in New York but also drive out doctors, especially those practicing in high-risk specialities such as obstetrics. Anything that lowers those costs could also lower malpractice insurance rates and help to slow the outflow of medical talent.”
Read More from this Buffalo New Editorial.
LRANY applauds the creation of a medical malpractice court in Buffalo and is working to bring similar steps towards reform throughout the state.