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Binding arbitration fails to stop suit

The Florida Supreme Court recently ruled on a medical malpractice suit that might have ramifications across the nation, depending on how each state handles arbitration suits. The ruling involved "binding arbitration" or an agreement between two parties to help quickly address disputes.

The incident in question involved a couple who filed a medical malpractice suit against Women's Care Florida following the stillborn birth of their son. Following the initial filing, the couple asked that the filing be changed to binding arbitration as specified in state law. The arbitration would mean that three arbitrators, one chosen by the plaintiffs, one by the defendants, and one an administrative law judge selected by the Division of Administrative Hearings to arbitrate and set parameters for any possible awards.

Women's Care Florida rejected the request, stating that the couple had previously signed an agreement which would lead to a binding arbitration on the original terms of the agreement. The Florida Supreme Court disagreed however, citing that the original arbitration agreement was "clearly favorable" to Women's Care Florida, which counters the intent of the Medical Malpractice Act, or MMA.

As you can see, there are many complexities and complications that may transpire during the process of a medical malpractice suit involving a birth injury or death. Any doctor, surgeon, or medical professional who is proven to be negligent and causes a birth injury or wrongful death may be liable. The laws on proving guilt are complex however. If you have been the victim and have a child injured or killed due to a birth injury, you may be entitled to compensation.

Source: Medscape, "Binding Arbitration Gets Shot Down," By Wayne J. Guglielmo, Feb. 13, 2017

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