IPG has handled numerous medical malpractice matters for plaintiffs and defendants of medical malpractice cases in Korea in Seoul courts and we were, prior, to having knowledge of the composition of the new Korean Medical Dispute Mediation and Arbitration Agency very pessimistic about its usefulness for plaintiffs.
When we first heard about the enactment of the new Korean medical malpractice law we were skeptical if the system would be useful for plaintiffs, since, often, the court and prosecutors are able to assert more pressure on doctors than a mediation commission (i.e. Labor Commission) and worried that this agency would be dominated by doctors.
However, after a discussion with one of the standing commissioners of the Korean Medical Dispute Mediation and Arbitration Agency, who we know well and who we worked with in the past, we have come to realize that the composition of the body lends itself to providing a fair forum for both doctors and patient plaintiffs.
In many cases, the court may be the best option for a plaintiffs, however, this agency may be more suited in handling the more complex matters, because of the nature of the Korean courts.
Sean Hayes may be contacted at: SeanHayes@ipglegal.com.
Sean Hayes is co-chair of the Korea Practice Team at IPG Legal. He is the only non-Korean to have worked as an attorney for the Korean court system (Constitutional Court of Korea) and one of the first non-Koreans to be a regular member of a Korean law faculty.