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1978 Army Law. 1 (1978)

handle is hein.journals/armylaw1978 and id is 1 raw text is: the army


Department of the Army Pamphlet
January 1978
Improving the Resolution of Federal Medical
Malpractice Claims
Judiciary Notes
Quarterly Court-Martial Rates Per 1000 Average
Nonjudicial Punishment Quarterly Court-
Martial Rates Per 1000 Average Strength
Law Day 1978
Reserve Affairs Department Initiates CLE
Liaison Program
CLE News
Collection of Local Regulations and Forms
JAGC Personnel Section
Current Materials of Interest

Improving the Resolution of Federal
Medical Malpractice Claims
Lieutenant Colonel James G. Zimmerly, MC,
Chief, Division of Legal Medicine,
Armed Forces Institute of Pathology,
Washington, D.C.
Medical malpractice claims and suits against
the federal government are big business and
are getting bigger. Table I illustrates the
number of cases awaiting a trial date in the last
half of FY 76. Table II depicts the growing
I   number of new claims filed each year against
10  the Department of the Army. The table illus-
11  trates the tremendous growth in new claims
filed over the past five years. Other federal
11  agencies have experienced a comparable in-
12  crease in new claims in recent years. There is
13  no indication that this trend will change direc-
13  tions in the near future.
16    The Division of Legal Medicine, Armed
17  Forces Institute of Pathology, estimates that
19  the federal sector made payments in excess of
$18 million in medical malpractice claims in
1976. Table III illustrates the total federal
payouts for malpractice claims, as well as a
comparison of the malpractice claims expenses
with the total federal payout in all civil litiga-
tion matters for the past seven years.
The Secretary's Commission on Medical Mal-
practice, Department of Health, Education and
Welfare (HEW) reported that an average of
77% of federal malpractice claimants whose
cases were closed in the years 1967 through
1971 collected at least some money.' Payments

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