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June 20, 2006

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DBR

The only REAL conclusion anyone can come to based on Georgia's current medical liability premiums is that it's too soon to come to any conclusion....

It takes from 3 to 5 years for a filed malpratice case to reach settlement or a courtroom. This isn't anecdotal or speculative - it's fact. And everyone, from trial lawyers to doctors, knows it.

Cases which will be affected by Georgia's new law won't be settled, decided or paid out for at LEAST two to three more years.

Cases which are currently adjudicated in Georgia courts were filed several years ago, and as such, are NOT AFFECTED by the new law. Premiums are based on potential payouts and defense costs for cases which are being adjudicated NOW.

And that's assuming, of course, that there isn't a constitutional challenge to the new laws, which will make it take even LONGER for premiums to fall. Texas did it right in 2003, passing both legislation AND a constitutional amendmentment, and has seen some companies lower premiums 22% since then...

For ANYONE, doctor or lawyer, to suggest that Georgia's new malpractice measures have failed because rates didn't fall immediately is either indicative of unbelievable ignorance or deliberate dishonesty

Matt

Only a tort reformer would call a 150% increase and a 15% cut a "success".

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