This article from www.claimsjournal.com reveals data from the Physician Insurer’s Association of America on the monies spent on defense costs in medical malpractice cases.
The PIAA reviewed closed claim data for 2009 and found that the average defense costs for medical malpractice lawsuits was $69,244 for cases that settled and ranged between $140,000 and $170,000 for cases that were tried.
The rates paid were not disclosed. The article did not discuss whether "defense costs" included expenses such as court reporter fees, expert witness fees, etc. Given the numbers that were disclosed, I assume that such expenses were not included in the amounts.
The numbers are not surprising and, if anything, are a little lower than I would expect. Of course, these are average figures, and my guess is that the cost of defending birth trauma cases and multi-defendant cases are substantially higher.