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Philadelphia judge blasts back at tort reformers

Washington lobbyist group lists Philadelphia civil courts as “Judicial Hellhole”

(12/22/2004) - The Philadelphia Inquirer reports today that Philadelphia Common Pleas Judge William J. Manfredi, civil courts supervisor, disagreed with the labeling of Philadelphia civil courts as a “judicial hellhole” by the American Tort Reform Association, a lobbyist group of manufacturers, insurers and doctors. “Indignant is my reaction,” Manfredi said in the Inquirer article. The association’s article says that “malpractice jury awards in the Philadelphia area are among the highest in the nation” and that doctors who go to trial in Philadelphia face a “lawsuit lottery.” According to the article, Manfredi countered that while verdicts are high, six out of ten malpractice trials in Philadelphia are won by doctors. The article goes on to say that county-by-county statistics show that the number of medical malpractice lawsuits filed in Philadelphia has dropped sharply—down 58 percent form 2002.

Philadelphia civil courts were recently lauded by the National Center for State Courts, declaring Philadelphia to have “arguably the best-managed large urban civil trial court operation in the nation.”





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