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Legal and Economic Issues

Failure to diagnose appendicitis is the third most frequent source of medical malpractice lawsuits and the fifth most expensive source of claims against emergency physicians.

In 2004, the economic burden of medical malpractice lawsuits for appendicitis was approximately $24.1 million (total indemnity of $19.2 million and total defense expense of $4.9 million).

In 2004, the economic burden of medical malpractice lawsuits for symptoms involving the abdomen and pelvis was approximately $105.7 million (total indemnity of $70.3 million and total defense expense of $35.4 million).

(Source: Medical Malpractice LLC; 1999 PIAA; 2004 PIAA)