We're unable to sign you in at this time. Please try again in a few minutes.
We were able to sign you in, but your subscription(s) could not be found. Please try again in a few minutes.
There may be a problem with your account. Please contact the AMA Service Center to resolve this issue.
Contact the AMA Service Center:
Telephone: 1 (800) 262-2350 or 1 (312) 670-7827  *   Email: subscriptions@jamanetwork.com
Error Message ......
Article |

Do the Elderly Sue Physicians?

Mark Sager, MD; Susan Voeks; Paul Drinka, MD; Elizabeth Langer, GNP, RNC; Paul Grimstad, JD
Arch Intern Med. 1990;150(5):1091-1093. doi:10.1001/archinte.1990.00390170119026.
Text Size: A A A
Published online


• We reviewed malpractice data from the state of Wisconsin for 1983 and 1984 to determine the frequency and the outcome of malpractice litigation by the elderly. Research data were obtained from court dockets filed with Wisconsin's Patients Compensation Panel and from 281 attorneys who provided the age for 431 claimants. The results showed that 10.0% of malpractice suits in Wisconsin were filed by the elderly during the study years. When we compared the frequency of litigation with the use of the health care system (number of hospitalizations and inpatient days), the elderly were significantly less likely than younger persons to initiate malpractice litigation despite greater exposure to potential negligence. However, once a malpractice suit was filed, there was no significant difference between older and younger litigants in the disposition of the case or in the likelihood of being the prevailing party when a finding or award was made. These findings suggest that the elderly are less likely to file malpractice claims against health care providers than would be expected given their use of the health care system. This finding may be related to social, economic, and legal barriers to malpractice litigation by older adults.

(Arch Intern Med. 1990;150:1091-1093)


Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?





Also Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
Please click the checkbox indicating that you have read the full article in order to submit your answers.
Your answers have been saved for later.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.


Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

18 Citations

Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.