Report: Florida rarely punishes doctors sued for malpractice

Posted at 9:02 AM, Nov 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-20 09:02:10-05

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Florida doctors are rarely punished by state regulators even after they are sued for malpractice according to a newspaper report.

The South Florida Sun Sentinel reported Sunday that the Florida Department of Health reviewed nearly 24,000 resolved state and federal lawsuits against doctors over the past decade. But out of those reviews regulators filed disciplinary charges just 128 times.

The state Department of Health is required to review every malpractice lawsuit filed against Florida doctors to identify and punish problem doctors.

Health department spokesman Brad Dalton told the newspaper that officials don't take action against doctors in cases too old to prosecute or with payouts of less than $50,000. That minimum payout amount would rule out roughly 70 percent of the malpractice cases filed.