According to the New York City Comptroller’s Office, the number of medical malpractice claims filed against City-owned hospitals increased in the 2015 fiscal year. This is a significant development. Available data shows that, until 2013, medical malpractice payouts had not increased nationally since 2003.

According to data compiled by Diederich Healthcare, a medical liability insurance and consulting company, which was based on records from the National Practitioner Data Bank, a clearinghouse of medical malpractice information, medical malpractice payouts rose nationally by 4.7% in 2013. This was the first time medical malpractice payouts had increased in 10 years. According to Diederich, total payout amounts again in increased in 2014 – by 4.4%. In 2014, more money was paid out on medical malpractice claims per capita in New York than any other state. This was followed by New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Now, based on information provided by the New York City Comptroller’s Office, the number of medical malpractice claims filed against City-owned hospitals increased in fiscal year 2015, from 495 in fiscal year 2013, to 521 in fiscal year 2015. New York City has 11 public hospitals, which are operated by the City Health and Hospitals Corporation. It is the largest municipal healthcare system in the country. Because of its sheer size, and the number of patients it serves, an increase in the number of medical malpractice claims filed against its hospitals is an important statistic.

The Comptroller’s Office did note that, while medical malpractice filings against some Health and Hospitals Corporation hospitals increased – such as Bellevue, where claims increased from 57 to 80, and Coney Island, where claims increased from 31 to 43 – filings at other of its hospitals actually declined – such as Harlem, where claims decreased from 34 to 28, and North Central Bronx, where claims decreased from 22 to 6. Additionally, while total claims against the Health and Hospitals Corporation increased slightly from 2014 to 2015, there was still an overall downward trend, with the total number of claims filed in 2015 still lower than in 2013.

In general, following nationwide efforts at tort reform, including in Pennsylvania, medical malpractice filings and payouts dropped dramatically. In Pennsylvania, and Philadelphia in particular, the number was virtually cut in half. However, as this information seems to suggest that, since 2013 the trend is now moving in the opposite direction.

If you were injured due to medical malpractice or neglect, it is strongly recommended that you seek experienced legal counsel immediately.