Timely Settlements for NYC Medical Malpractice Cases Using Judge-Directed Negotiation

“Personal Injury is All We Do”

In 2002, Judge Douglas E. McKeon, Bronx Supreme Court Justice devised a program that he called judge-directed negotiation to facilitate settlements with 11 NYC hospitals operating under New York City Health and Hospitals, Corp. Cases predisposed toward settlement were sent to the judge, and he directed negotiations between the NYC medical malpractice lawyers and counsel for the hospitals. These Bronx medical malpractice cases that normally took several years to move through the justice system resolved in under a year.

According to a Washington Post article , the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality funded Judge McKeon’s program with a $3 million grant to expand the program and include more NYC hospitals. Policy experts are viewing it as a national model for handling medical liability cases.

Currently, legal systems are bogged down with prolonged medical malpractice cases that often pass through several judges before conclusion. In addition, court procedure does not create an atmosphere that favors settlement. Pre-trial discovery for medical malpractice cases often lasts months or years, and the more time invested in this trial phase, the less likely parties are to enter into negotiated settlements.

While case resolution takes less time, the average payout is less. However, clients are able to receive settlements in a timely manner and less legal expense goes into managing cases. Parties that do not settle still have the option of litigating.

If you suffered serious injury as a result of medical malpractice, an experienced Suffolk County medical malpractice lawyer can review your situation and determine the prospects of pursuing a case.