« Go back to Blog Index

Change Unfair Medical Malpractice Law

If a California doctor were to run a red light and hit a mother and child, the victims could sue without limits.  If that same doctor were to commit an act of medical malpractice that maims a patient, damages are capped at $250,000.

It’s time to change the current medical malpractice law, which is unfair and outdated.

Please join me in supporting a new California bill on the November 2014 ballot, entitled Drug and Alcohol Testing of Doctors. Medical Negligence Lawsuits.

If approved by voters, the new bill will raise the cap on pain and suffering damages from medical malpractice to $1 million from the current limit of $250,000.  It also will be the first law to require drug and alcohol testing of doctors.  (Click here for full text of bill).

The current Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act of 1975 (MICRA) has been in place and unchanged for nearly 40 years! It imposes a cap of $250,000 on pain and suffering damages in legal cases involving medical malpractice, but places no limits on economic damages.  As a result, victims of medical negligence can collect economic damages, such as loss of income resulting from their injuries; however, their pain and suffering damages are capped at $250,000.

But what happens to those who have no income?  They are often unable to receive compensation for medical negligence, since attorneys who handle contingency-fee cases won’t be repaid for their work, unless the victim can prove loss of income.  This adversely affects those who need justice the most, including children, the elderly, stay-at-home parents and working class Californians.

It’s time for us to ensure fair and equal justice for all those who have been injured by acts of medical negligence.

If approved by voters, the new bill will:

  1. Adjust the state’s MICRA law and malpractice cap to more than $1 million instead of $250,000.
  2. Mandate drug and alcohol testing of all doctors and reporting of positive tests to the California Medical Board.
  3. Require health care practitioners to consult the existing state prescription drug history database before prescribing certain controlled substances.

Also known as the Troy and Alana Pack Patient Safety Act, the bill was proposed by Bob Pack, after his two young children, 10-year-old Troy and 7-year-old Alana, were killed by a driver who was overprescribed narcotics by multiple doctors at the same hospital.

For more information on how you can help, visit packact.org.