According to the official statistics from the Pennsylvania state court system for medical malpractice case filings and verdicts for 2009, there were 1,533 medical malpractice cases filed during 2009, representing a decline of almost 44% since 2000-2002 (there were 2,904 filings during 2002). The decline was nearly 60% in Philadelphia (491 filings in Philadelphia during 2009), which has the largest caseload in Pennsylvania. The declines are at least partially due to two rule changes since 2002: the need to obtain a certificate of merit establishing substandard care and the requirement that medical malpractice cases be filed only in the county where the cause of action took place.
Compared to prior years, 2009 had the fewest verdicts in favor of plaintiffs and a high rate of defense verdicts.
For detailed statistics regarding physicians in Pennsylvania during 2009, see this report (some of the survey findings: more physicians were licensed to practice medicine in Pennsylvania in 2008 than in any previous survey year; 31,785 of the physicians surveyed identified a primary practice specialty; 37% practice in a primary care specialty; the number of primary care physicians in Pennsylvania is increasing).
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