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Judge rejects secrecy in medical malpractice lawsuit settlement

A judge recently refused to seal a settlement in a medical malpractice lawsuit, stating that the public has a right to know that money from a state fund would be used to pay the widow of the patient who died due to a cardiac surgical error. The widow alleged that the surgeon failed to properly tie off sutures in her husband’s heart, causing a fatal rupture. Before she filed her medical malpractice lawsuit, the case was settled with part of the settlement paid from the state’s Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error Fund, which provides excess medical malpractice coverage through the state’s insurance department. The judge stated that he had good reason to make this medical malpractice lawsuit settlement public.

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