Association between civil procedure and medical malpractice litigation in Japan

Akihito Hagihara, Minako Nishi, Koichi Nobutomo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The effect of shortcomings in the system of civil procedure in Japan, such as excessive delay and possible mistaken judgment on the existence of negligence, on medical malpractice litigation and legal outcomes has not been examined. Using data on judgments and the decisions in medical malpractice litigation by the Tokyo and Osaka District Courts, we examined the association between civil procedure and medical malpractice litigation, and predictors of the decisions of medical malpractice litigation. The basis of the civil procedure to secure quick decisions was related to the amount of medical malpractice litigation, but not to the decisions in medical malpractice litigation. Negligence and a factor other than negligence were related to the rate of decisions in favor of the plaintiff. Although the study implies that shortcomings in civil procedure negatively influence medical malpractice litigation, it was not determined whether decisions were made based on mistaken judgment concerning the existence of negligence. Since there are methodological limitations to this study, further studies are necessary to verify these findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-288
Number of pages20
JournalMedicine and Law
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health Policy
  • Law


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