Emergency Department and Urgent Care Medical Malpractice Claims 2001–15

Kelly E. Wong, MD; P. Divya Parikh, MPH; Kwon C. Miller; Mark R. Zonfrillo, MD, MSCE


Western J Emerg Med. 2021;22(2):333-338. 

In This Article


Of the 6,779 closed medical professional liability claims originating from ED or urgent care centers over a 15-year period, 65.9% were dropped, withdrawn, or dismissed; 22.8% settled for an average indemnity of $297,709; 7.6% went to trial; and 3.7% resolved by alternative dispute resolution/contract/unknown. In those that went to trial, juries returned verdicts for the defendant 92.6% of the time; however, claims where the jury returned verdicts for the plaintiff had the highest average indemnity of $816,909 of any claim resolution type. Acute myocardial infarction was the diagnosis with the highest ratio of paid-to-closed claims. Death was the most common outcome listed in closed claims; however, outcomes listing grave injury had more than double the average indemnity as paid claims listing death as the resulting injury ($686,239 vs $326,350).