Californians May Vote on Lifting Medical Malpractice Cap

The drive to raise the amount victims can recover in medical malpractice lawsuits may be going to California's ballot box.
July 26, 2013

The drive to raise the amount victims can recover in medical malpractice lawsuits may be going to California's ballot box.

A coalition that includes the Consumer Attorneys of California, an organization representing trial lawyers, has been lobbying the Legislature aggressively this year to lift a $250,000 ceiling on pain and suffering damages in malpractice cases.

They argue that the current cap, enacted by the 1975 Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act, is outdated and insufficient to cover the prolonged effects of doctor negligence or a botched medical procedure. By suppressing the potential payout, they say, the law discourages attorneys from taking on malpractice cases.

With a few weeks left in the legislative session, lawmakers have yet to take on the issue. One member of the coalition, Santa Monica-based Consumer Watchdog, on Thursday said it had filed papers to take the matter directly to voters.

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