Quality, Not Quantity: An Analysis of Confidential Settlements and Litigants' Economic Incentives

  title={Quality, Not Quantity: An Analysis of Confidential Settlements and Litigants' Economic Incentives},
  author={Alison Lothes},
  journal={University of Pennsylvania Law Review},
  • Alison Lothes
  • Published 1 December 2005
  • Law
  • University of Pennsylvania Law Review
The recent rise of “sunshine” legislation, which prohibits or reduces secret settlements of civil lawsuits, highlights public unease with confidential settlements. Recurring, highly publicized, dangerous events expose the costs of confidentiality: the Bridgestone/Firestone tire scandal and the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal are the most recent. Litigation regarding the Dalkon Shield, the Ford Pinto, and 

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Evidence is found that defendants value confidentiality and are no longer willing to pay a confidentiality premium when websites disclose settlement outcomes, and evidence that website disclosure changes the composition of claims.

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This article considers the phenomenon of contractually-imposed restraints on political communication. Such restraints often incidentally arise from broad limits on out-of-hours conduct imposed by

Bargaining in the Shadow of the Website: Disclosure's Impact on Litigation Behavior

Investigates the significance of secrecy and disclosure for medical malpractice litigation.

Platform Procedure: Using Technology to Facilitate (Efficient) Civil Settlement

In this chapter, we explore the ability of courts to enhance the role of substantive law in case outcomes by reducing party litigation costs. When it becomes less costly for parties to engage



See supra text accompanying notes 123-29 (discussing Miceli's model of party behavior)

    discussing the significance of Massachusetts' physician profile database, which provides an "unprecedented amount of information" to consumers). See generally CAL

    • BUS. & PROF. CODE §
    • 2000

    Ninety percent of all medical malpractice cases are settled out of court

      at L6 (citing an investigation that found that the few doctors in New Jersey with multiple malpractice claims and settlements had never been punished by the

      • Right To Know: Patients Deserve to Know Doctors' Histories, RECORD

      Studdert, supra note 153, at 285 (detailing the "disconnections observed between injury and litigation")

        Leg., 107th Reg. Sess. (Fla. 2005) (vetoed 2005) (providing for disclosure in Florida of physician information); see also H.B. 1739, at lns

          Using Physician Profiles" hyperlink; then scroll to "Malpractice Information") (indicating that profiles include malpractice payment information

            ) (providing malpractice and settlement history to users who select a search item, choose a profile, and scroll to malpractice and settlement history)

              at 49 (describing the negative outcomes emanating from a forced settlement by a doctor who did not want to settle due to the stigma of settlement as an admission of guilt)

                (describing a situation where an insurer cancelled a doctor's policy due to "claim and suit frequency and severity"). See generally David M. Studdert et al., Medical Malpractice, 350 NEW ENG

                • J. MED
                • 2004