Medical Malpractice Appeals to the Spanish Supreme Court

Medical Malpractice Appeals to the Spanish Supreme Court

Fecha: julio 2019

Sofia Amaral-Garcia

Mala práctica médica, Análisis empírico, Compensación económica

Law and economics. A productive relationship

This short paper focuses on outcomes of medical malpractice claims decided by the Spanish Supreme Court from 2006 until 2010. Section 1 provides a brief introduction to the problem of medical malpractice. Section 2 describes the dataset and provides an overview of the main results in Amaral-Garcia and Garoupa (2015) and in Amaral-Garcia (2019). The former assesses whether administrative courts can favor the government (i.e., whenever the medical accident took place in a public hospital) in medical malpractice cases. The later focuses on non-economic damages and tests for differences between administrative and civil decisions (in general terms, it tests whether courts award different non-economic amounts to patients suffering harm in public and private hospitals). Section 3 briefly considers which medical specialties are more commonly sued and makes a comparison with other jurisdictions. Section 4 analyses the impact of legal reforms introduced in 1998 and 1999, which aimed at reducing the duration of legal claims. Finally, conclusions are presented in Section 5.

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