SB 3, effective 2/16/05, requires reporting of all medical malpractice judgments and settlements, in any amount, to the Composite State Board of Medical Examiners. Whenever there is a judgment or settlement of at least $100,000, and whenever a physician has a third judgment or settlement in any amount, the board must investigate the doctor’s fitness to practice medicine.
Policing the medical profession to protect the public from bad doctors should be a good thing. It remains to be seen how this will be done in practice.
Previously, all judgments and settlements above $10,000 were reported to the Board and the National Practitioners’ Database. Since all physicians’ malpractice insurance policies require the policyholder’s consent to settlement, the reporting requirement has made settlement of malpractice cases for more than a nominal amount extremely difficult in all but the most egregious cases, multiplying the trouble and expense of litigation in even meritorious cases. The new reporting requirement will likely make settlements even more difficult.

Ken Shigley represents plaintiffs in wrongful death and catastrophic injury cases statewide in Georgia, and in other states subject to the multijurisdictional practice and pro hac vice rules in each state. Ken Shigley was designated as a “Super Lawyer” in Atlanta Magazine and one of the “Legal Elite” in Georgia Trend Magazine. He is President-Elect of the State Bar of Georgia (2011-12), a Certified Civil Trial Advocate of the National Board of Trial Advocacy, Chair of the Southeastern Motor Carrier Liability Institute and former chair of the Georgia Insurance Law Institute. He particularly focuses on cases arising from truck wrecks and accidents (tractor trailers truck wrecks, semi truck wrecks,18 wheeler truck wrecks, big rig truck wrecks, log truck wrecks, dump truck wrecks). He and Sally have been married since 1983, and are the proud parnts of two young adults, Anne Shigley and Ken Shigley, Jr.