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

@article{Lothes2005QualityNQ,
  title={Quality, Not Quantity: An Analysis of Confidential Settlements and Litigants' Economic Incentives},
  author={Alison Lothes},
  journal={University of Pennsylvania Law Review},
  year={2005},
  volume={154},
  pages={433}
}
  • 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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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 §
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    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
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        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
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