In Kentucky, a law that requires every medical malpractice case to go through a review panel to determine if it has enough merit to proceed has been in effect for just a year — and it already seems broken.
It’s also facing lawsuits that challenge its validity under the Kentucky Constitution. The law drastically slows down the process for plaintiffs who are seeking to obtain a measure of justice through a medical malpractice case — and that would seem to fly in the face of the constitution, which says that everyone has the right to their day in court without delay.
Those who back the law say that the panel system is needed to prevent injured patients from filing supposedly “frivolous” lawsuits, even though there is no evidence that frivolous suits are being filed in Kentucky. They say that putting every case through a panel of medical professionals would help make sure that only cases with merit make it to court, although there are already numerous existing protections to ensure that truly meritless cases are not filed or do not go to trial if they are. After all, the whole point of the court system is the help resolve disputes where the parties don’t agree.