Medical malpractice lawsuits filed in 2014 hit a new low

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania's state court system says the number of medical malpractice lawsuits filed last year were the fewest in 14 years of tracking them.

The Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts said Friday that 1,463 new cases were filed in Pennsylvania's civil courts in 2014. It's about a decade after the state Supreme Court and lawmakers toughened rules around filing them.

That's a nearly 50 percent drop from the period more than a decade ago when spiking malpractice premiums spurred new policies. The courts also say it's a nearly 70 percent decline in Philadelphia, the state's judicial district with the largest caseload.

The courts say the number of jury verdicts grew by 17 to 127 last year, the third-lowest annual figure. That's about a 60 percent drop from jury verdicts in 2000.

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