Edwards: Limit Frivolous Lawsuits

Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards says attorneys should have to show their medical malpractice cases have merit before filing them.

The former North Carolina senator made his fortune as a trial lawyer. But Edwards says attorneys with a history of frivolous suits should be barred from filing new cases.

His proposal is similar to "certificates of merit" laws adopted in several states. Those laws usually require that an independent doctor assert the validity of a malpractice case before it is filed.

Edwards says while reducing malpractice lawsuits is a good idea, it won't significantly affect health care costs. He says he thinks the cost associated with legal cases is well under 1 percent of the legal system.

Edwards spoke Monday at a health care forum in Washington.