I just listened to an NPR piece - "Practice of Hospital Apologies Is Gaining Ground."
There has been quite a bit of research in the last few years that the differentiating factor between a doctor who gets sued for malpractice and one who does not is how much time they spend with their patient, and how humble they are.
The NPR piece details how at least one hospital now has a practice of apologizing to patients who have adverse outcomes, or where there was a missed diagnosis. It turns out that many patients sue not because of the mistake, but because of how they are treated. Being upfront and honest with the patient about the mistake, and apologizing, seems to have a positive impact.
Makes me wonder if there is a lesson in here for companies that have data breaches. Maybe getting out front of the issue like TD Ameritrade (not really out front given how long it was going on, but out from of the major press) will help them in the end with respect to how successful the class action suits are, etc.
I guess we'll just have to see.