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Mediation and Med Mal

Takeaways from the Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee's recent webinar, “Med Mal Mediation 360: What’s in a Claim?"

January 19, 2022 Photo

CLM’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee recently held a webinar entitled, “Med Mal Mediation 360: What’s in a Claim?” which focused on medical malpractice claim trends and the role mediation plays as courts open back up. Below are a few takeaways from the presentation.

12:00:00 p.m.

Rebekah Ratliff, Mediator, Arbitrator & Neutral Evaluator, JAMS

Marco Spadacenta, Senior Vice President, The Doctors Company

Andrew Nadolna, Mediator and Neutral Arbitrator, JAMS

Michael Coffey, Partner, Coffey Modica O’Meara LLP


Andrew Nadolna

“We’re thinking about med mal from the perspective of the road to resolution, and when you think about how to resolve a case, it’s not just about necessarily the parties in court, but also the insurance that’s behind the parties, the structure of the insurance, and how you get that insurance involved in the resolution.”


Andrew Nadolna

“The excess insurers, for very large cases, you might have them in $5-$10 million increments, and you can have a tower that goes up $100 million or $400 million; and in terms of resolution complexity, if you want to think of one party with 10 insurance companies that have to be on board—that’s complexity.”


Michael Coffey

“As the courts start to reopen, I think a lot of the attorneys are beginning to see their inventory, that they have a lot of cases that are going to start trial…they can have anywhere from two to 10 matters that are ready for trial, and they want to see if they can engage in mediation.”


Marco Spadacenta

“Specifically related to ADR, there’s a game of chicken that’s been going on for about the last year and a half, which is—both plaintiffs’ attorneys and defense attorneys—there are certain cases where they have drawn a line in the sand and said, ‘We’re not willing to resolve this case; we’ll just take it to trial.’”


Marco Spadacenta

“As the courts start to open up, we’re going to see a backlog of these cases. We’re going to see defense attorneys who have a multitude of cases ready for trial, and judges are not going to be interested in [excuses]. They want their dockets cleared. Plaintiff’s attorneys are going to feel that pressure, also. So, how do you resolve those cases? That’s where ADR comes into play.”


Marco Spadacenta

“There’s some plaintiffs’ attorneys right now who are sitting in their offices deciding which carrier they are going to try to go after for predatory practices once this is all over, and I think a mediator—ADR—can really go a long way in helping that process, where you’re in a forum where it’s going to be difficult to…take advantage of someone, but you’re seeking the opportunities.”


Rebekah Ratliff

“We have ethics around us as insurance professionals; there are ethics around us as mediators. And during pandemic times, it’s important for everybody to keep a mind toward ethics.”


Andrew Nadolna

“Context is everything when you are approaching mediation. It’s conveying the context in a way that has credibility and makes sense that drives you to appropriate resolution.”

About The Authors
Phil Gusman

Phil Gusman is senior managing editor for CLM Magazine and Construction Claims magazine.  phil.gusman@theclm.org

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