A recent study of the trial court workload in Tennessee has revealed that even if fewer medical malpractice cases are filed, they still use up more time than any other type of case. The study detailed how state judges in Tennessee spend their time, and was a 2013 update to a 2007 study.
The report revealed that in fiscal year 2013, 385 medical malpractice cases were filed in Tennessee courts. This number represents an extremely small percentage of total cases filed in Tennessee. A mere 0.18% of all Tennessee court filings – both criminal and civil – were medical malpractice cases.
However, despite the small number of cases, they account for a much higher proportion of a judge’s time. Judges spent 3.83% of their time on medical malpractice cases; the greatest portion of that (2.45%) was for trial work. The report also showed that pre-trial work took up about a third of judges’ time in medical malpractice cases, but that post-trial issues barely used any time.
In terms of actual hours spent, each malpractice case took about 22 hours of a judge’s time. This number is higher than any other type of case, including first degree murder, which only took about 13 hours of a judge’s time.