More physicians like Dan F. Kopen can expect to find themselves at the defense table as doctors and lawyers continue to wage a political, legal and cultural war over who to blame for the medical malpractice insurance crisis.
A general surgeon, Kopen is out the door and on his way to work by 5:30 a.m., with no chance to read the morning newspaper. On Sept. 15, 1997, it was no different for Kopen, who lives and practices in Wilkes Barre, Pa. So it’s little surprise that almost everyone in town seemed to know before Kopen did that a former patient had filed a malpractice lawsuit against him.
“I found out from a lawyer friend who read it in the paper,” Kopen recalls. “He said, ‘Oh, I see you’ve been sued.’ ”