Research

Distracted Driving Single Most Common Contributing Factor in Washington Car Crashes
The Washington Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC) recently released its findings for motor vehicle collisions in 2013. What was the big take-away? In Washington state, a crash occurred every five minutes and the number one contributing factor for car crashes was distracted driving.

One in Four Adults Affected By Medical Errors (pdf)
A new survey from the Harvard School of Public Health on Massachusetts adults, commissioned by the Betsy Lehman Center for Patient Safety and Medical Error Reduction, found that one in four had either been affected by a mistake in their medical care or that of someone close to them, reported NPR affiliate WBUR today. Half said that the harm inflicted was serious. Many others reported that they received the wrong operation, drug, dosage, test, or treatment. This coincides with data that shows up to 440,000 Americans die every year from medical errors.

Tort Reform Doesn’t Change Doctors’ Behaviors
The New England Journal of Medicine recently published a study on the effects of tort deform on emergency room department treatments. Some have warned that fear of malpractice suits would cause doctors to perform unnecessary care, especially in emergency rooms, which operate in an “information-poor, resource-rich environment that may lend itself to costly defensive practice.” NEJM studied states with legislation to change the malpractice standard. The result: No change. The only difference tort deform makes is reducing patient access to justice. This is simply unacceptable.

Washington among least expensive workers’ comp states (pdf)
According to the latest state-by-state comparison on national business competitive assessments, Washington is among the least expensive states for actual employer costs paid for workers’ compensation. According to the Chief Actuary for the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I), only ten states have less expensive coverage to employers, once omitted factors are accounted.

Women & Dangerous Drugs and Medical Devices (pdf)
As it turns out, dangerous drugs and medical devices throughout history have disproportionately affected women. Due to recent cases (e.g. Riegel v. Medtronic and PLIVA v. Mensing), some of the women affected may not be able to hold these companies accountable. Over the last century, however, the civil justice system has worked relentlessly to protect women from dangerous products.

The Ten Worst Insurance Companies in America (pdf)
To identify the worst insurance companies for consumers, researchers at the American Association for Justice (AAJ) undertook a comprehensive investigation of thousands of court documents, SEC and FBI records, state insurance department investigations and complaints, news accounts from across the country, and the testimony and depositions of former insurance agents and adjusters.

License to Steal: How the U.S. Chamber Forced Arbitration on America (pdf)
Most Americans do not realize they have forfeited their legal rights until it is too late. Buried in the fine print of many contracts – from credit card and nursing home contracts to employee handbooks and online user agreements – are dangerous forced arbitration clauses that eliminate access to justice and replace it with a secretive, corporate tribunal. The American Association for Justice released a new primer detailing how the abusive practice of forced arbitration hurts American small businesses, consumers and employees and how the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is spearheading efforts to force arbitration on America. This study shines a spotlight on how forced arbitration clauses are routinely buried in the fine print of contracts and secretly abolish many of the safeguards the civil justice system provides.

Exposing Medical Myths: “Caps” And Physician Supply (pdf)
The Center for Justice & Democracy (CJ&D) at New York Law School released a study examining years of research showing no correlation between where physicians decide to practice and a state’s medical malpractice law. Specifically, the study debunks the argument that if California repeals or lifts its current $250,000 cap on non-economic damages that doctors will leave the state.