Homepage › Patient Safety

Patient Safety

Since 1975 the value of everything has gone up, except the value of a child’s life. A cap that doesn’t adjust for inflation was flawed from the day it was signed. 38 years is too late not to do something about it.

This law is so old Jerry Brown signed it in his first term when legislators made $22,000 per year. Lawmakers salaries have gone up more than 400% since then, but the value of the lives of victims of medical negligence hasn’t gone up at all. Voters will have to deal with this inequity if the legislature refuses. The ballot measure the groups announced will also deal with other patient safety reforms, including the CURES prescribing database and doctor oversight by the Medical Board of California.



38 is Too Late

Medical negligence could happen to anyone. A routine procedure could end in grievous injury and lifetime harm, even death. The stories are horrific, terrifying and tragically real. Today is the time for change. Now is the time to hold medical professionals accountable by eliminating or updating the cap to fairly compensate victims and their families. Only then would health care negligence be held to account, and only then would its victims begin to approach fair compensation for malpractice that changes lives forever.

Click here to visit the 38 is Too Late Website or join the campaign on Facebook and Twitter.


The Troy and Alana Pack Patient Safety Act

The Troy and Alana Pack Patient Safety Act, which will require 504,760 valid signatures of voters to qualify for the next general election ballot, includes the following changes to California law: 1) Mandatory random drug and alcohol testing for physicians and mandatory physician drug and alcohol testing after reports of adverse events; 2) Mandatory use by physicians of the electronic CURES database, a searchable system that tracks prescriptions dispensed in California, which Pack developed for the state of California in the wake of his family’s tragedy; 3) Adjusting for inflation the 37-year-old $250,000 cap on recovery for medical negligence victims, which has not changed since 1975, and as the author of the original law, Barry Keene, recently came forward to support; 4) Requiring doctors who witness substance abuse by physicians or medical negligence to report it, and protecting those physicians from lawsuits by other doctors when they do

For more information about the official filing of the Troy and Alana Pack Patient Safety Act visit the California Attorney General's website, read the press release here or visit the official campaign site at PackAct.org.


Pee in A Cup The Musical

Pilots, college athletes, bus drivers and Disneyland cast members all are subjected to mandatory drug testing, but not the doctor performing open heart surgery, or a vasectomy. Not yet. Substance abuse among doctor runs twice as high among doctors as the general population -- 18% of physicians according to the California Medical Board. It's no wonder, they can deal their own drugs. It's time for the change medical experts have been calling for a while. To make the case, this series of short, funny musical videos known as "Pee In The Cup, The Musical" we make the case for why Doctors should be subject to the same tests as athletes, policemen, firemen and even janitors.

Watch the Musical today!

Press Releases

Consumer Watchdog Campaign: Fla. Supreme Court Rules Medical Malpractice Damage Cap Unconstitutional
Californians should have the same right as Floridians to equal protection under the law in cases of medical negligence, said Consumer Watchdog Campaign today after the Florida Supreme Court ruled the state’s cap on medical negligence damages is unconstitutional.  Signatures will be turned in beginning next week for a ballot measure that would increase protections for harmed California patients by indexing the state’s 38-year-old damage cap for inflation. <Read More>

Consumer Watchdog Campaign: Ballot Initiative Addresses Study Finding Doctors Are Single Largest Supplier of Prescription Drugs to Chronic Abusers
A California ballot initiative that has garnered more than 800,000 signatures from voters addresses a study published this week in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association that finds doctors are the biggest suppliers for chronic prescription drug abusers. <Read More>

Consumer Watchdog Calls For Suspension of “Out To Lunch” Heart Surgeon Who Reportedly Left Surgeries Early & Investigation Of Hospital Involved In Cover-Up
Following new allegations in Sunday’s Fresno Bee, that a heart surgeon repeatedly left surgeries before closing up patients’ chests, Consumer Watchdog called upon the state’s medical board and attorney general to act against the doctor and hospital involved. <Read More>

Billboard Announces Toll-Free Hotline, 1-844-DOCS-DUI, For Public And Physicians to Report Drug and Alcohol-Impaired Doctors
Consumer Watchdog launched a billboard publicizing a new toll-free hotline,    1-844-DOCS-DUI, calling on the public and physicians to report suspected drug and alcohol abuse by doctors.  A woman harmed by her physician, who found out only later that the doctor had an alcohol abuse problem, called for transparency and reform. <Read More>

Attorney General, District Attorney and Medical Board Should Take Over Investigation of Hospital Where 13-Year-Old Girl Is On Life Support after Routine Surgery
After learning that the hospital where a 13-year-old girl is on life support after routine tonsil-removal surgery has refused to release her medical records to the family, Consumer Watchdog today called on the California Attorney General, Alameda County District Attorney and California Medical Board to take over the investigation into the case. <Read More>

Consumer Watchdog Campaign: Nation’s Largest Medical Society Says Doctors Should Check Drug Database Before Prescribing Addictive Drugs
In a position paper published today to address the “serious public health problem” of prescription drug abuse, the nation’s largest physician medical society argues that doctors should be required to check state prescription drug databases before prescribing controlled substances to patients. Petitions are currently being circulated in California for a patient safety ballot measure that would mandate that physicians check an electronic database of patients’ prescription histories before prescribing. <Read More>

Consumer Watchdog Campaign: Following Doctor's Comment That Physician Drug Abuse "Doesn't Matter," Father Who Lost His Children To A Drug Addicted Driver Calls on Lawmakers to Sign Patient Safety Ballot Petition
Bob Pack, whose two young children were killed by a drugged driver, today called on California lawmakers to repudiate shocking remarks that physician impairment due to substance abuse "Doesn't Matter" by signing the petition for his ballot measure to improve patient safety. <Read More>

Consumer Watchdog Calls On Kaiser CEO To Disclose Substance Abuse & Patient Safety Problems At Health System Following High Profile Denials By Kaiser Doc
Consumer Watchdog wrote incoming Kaiser CEO Bernard Tyson to take issue with “disconcerting statements made by one of your employees, Dr. Paul Phinney, the immediate past President of the California Medical Association, who has maintained that medical negligence and substance abuse among physicians are not significant patient safety issues that need to be addressed.” <Read More>

Consumer Watchdog Calls On Kaiser CEO To Disclose Substance Abuse & Patient Safety Problems At Health System Following High Profile Denials By Kaiser Doc
Consumer Watchdog wrote incoming Kaiser CEO Bernard Tyson to take issue with “disconcerting statements made by one of your employees, Dr. Paul Phinney, the immediate past President of the California Medical Association, who has maintained that medical negligence and substance abuse among physicians are not significant patient safety issues that need to be addressed.” <Read More>

Consumer Watchdog Campaign: Father Circulates Patient Safety Ballot Measure To Prevent Other Families From Suffering The Same Tragedy His Did
Petitions for a 2014 patient safety ballot initiative to curb prescription drug abuse and strengthen physician accountability hit the streets in every major California city this week. Bob Pack launched the petition drive after losing his two children, Troy and Alana, ages 10 and 7, and unborn twins, in an accident caused by a driver high on drugs and alcohol. The ballot measure addresses the patient safety issues at the heart of his family’s tragedy. <Read More>

Third “Pee In A Cup” Video Crashes Doctors’ Disneyland Awards Gala
The third video in the “Pee In A Cup The Musical” series greeted doctors arriving at the Disneyland Anaheim Marriott on Saturday. Security guards were deployed after its first drive past the entrance to the evening Awards Gala at the California Medical Association’s annual meeting. The mobile video truck circled just outside the security perimeter in front of the hotel for the rest of the evening, playing the musical video that makes the case for mandatory drug testing of doctors. <Read More>

“Pee In A Cup The Musical: Part 2” Launched at Doctors' Annual Convention in Disneyland
The second in a series of musical videos that make the case for mandatory drug testing of doctors was unveiled today on a mobile billboard truck circling the California Medical Association's annual convention at Disneyland. <Read More>

Victims Of Prescription Drug Abuse Unveil "Pee In A Cup" Video On Mobile Billboard At Doctors’ Disneyland Convention To Make Case For Mandatory Drug and Alcohol Testing Of Physicians
Families of victims of prescription drug abuse, physician overprescribing, and medical malpractice called for mandatory drug testing of doctors today outside the California Medical Association’s convention at the Disneyland Hotel. The nonprofit, nonpartisan Consumer Watchdog group unveiled a mobile billboard truck showing "Pee In A Cup: The Musical, Part 1," the first in a series of musical videos pressing for mandatory doctor drug testing in California. Pilots, bus drivers and even Disney employees are required to undergo mandatory drug testing, yet doctors, who hold patients' lives in their hands, do not. A proposed ballot measure would require such testing. <Read More>

Consumer Watchdog Outs Physicians Funding Opposition to ‘Pee In A Cup’ Initiative: Publishes List of Doctor Contributors To Opponents of Mandatory Physician Drug Testing
The nonprofit, nonpartisan public interest group Consumer Watchdog is telling Californians about the list of physicians who have funded the opposition to a mandatory drug testing initiative for doctors. <Read More>

Physicians’ Lobby Kills Bill To Suspend Privileges of Doctors Whose Prescribing Led To Overdose Deaths
The California Medical Association blocked another bill aimed at improving patient safety yesterday, prompting consumer advocates and families harmed by dangerous doctors to consider amending a pending patient safety ballot measure to include those reforms the legislature fails to enact this year. <Read More>

USA Today Report Says Medical Boards Fail to Discipline Dangerous Doctors
USA Today analyzed a decade of physician discipline records and found endemic problems at the nation's medical boards that have failed to take action against thousands of dangerous doctors despite "findings of serious misconduct that puts patients at risk." California was singled out as one of the problem states. An initiative measure proposed in California for the 2014 ballot would enact strong new oversight and discipline of dangerous doctors. <Read More>

From The Center for Justice & Democracy: New Consumer Study Debunks Myths About California's Medical Malpractice "Cap" and Access to Patient Care
The Center for Justice & Democracy released a new study today examining years of research showing no correlation whatsoever between where physicians decide to practice and a state’s medical malpractice law. <Read More>

Women Harmed By Medical Negligence Ask Planned Parenthood CEOs Not To Be Anti-Woman
Fifteen women and mothers whose lives have been devastated by medical negligence wrote to the CEOs of Planned Parenthood today asking them to reverse a position that is devastating to women’s health and access to justice in California. The letter asked the CEOs to reverse their position on a proposed ballot measure to change a law that has discriminated against women for the last 38 years. <Read More>

Doctors’ Lobby Guts Patient Safety Reforms As New Evidence Reveals Rampant Narcotics Over-Prescribing by Physicians
Two major patient safety bills passed a key Assembly committee this morning only after being stripped of key protections after heavy lobbying by the California Medical Association. <Read More>

Father Who Filed Ballot Measure To Redeem Children’s Death Challenges Doctor Who Heads Medical Association To Debate and Stop Demeaning His Children’s Memory
Bob Pack today wrote Dr. Paul Phinney, head of the California Medical Association, with hard words over Phinney’s refusal to acknowledge his family’s suffering and that of other medical negligence victims in his public response to Pack’s ballot measure, “The Troy and Alana Pack Patient Safety Act.” <Read More>

Father Who Lost Young Children Files Ballot Initiative To Address Patient Safety Issues Behind Deaths; Drug Testing And Doctor Accountability Included
Bob Pack, who lost his seven year old daughter and ten year old son on a roadside nine years ago, filed a ballot measure in California today to address the drug overdose and physician accountability issues at the heart of his family’s tragedy. <Read More>

Top Ten Dangerous Doctors Are Poster Children for Patient Safety Reform
Ten doctors that the California Medical Board failed to take off the streets before repeated acts of negligence and patient endangerment harmed or killed their patients make the case for reforming California's patient safety laws, said Consumer Watchdog today. <Read More>

Father To Medical Association: Apologize, Our Children’s Death Is Not A “Publicity Stunt”
The father of a seven and ten year old killed by a drug addicted driver who received thousands of pills she should never have had called on the California Medical Association to apologize for calling the effort by families injured by medical negligence to tell their stories and seek stronger patient safety laws “an ill-fated publicity stunt.” <Read More>

CA Doctors Unaccountable For Harming Patients and the Public: Medical Board Took 4 Years to Suspend License of Doctor Who Bought Drugs & Alcohol for Kids
The California Medical Board took four years to suspend the license of a Central Valley doctor who gave drugs and alcohol to minors, more evidence that doctors are unaccountable when they harm patients and the public in California, said Consumer Watchdog.<Read Here>

Advocates and Victims Thank Senate Leader For Holding Hearings On 38-Year-Old Damage Cap Law to Address CA Patient Safety Crisis

California’s Senate President Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg told injured patients and their families gathered on the Capitol sidewalk last week that he would hold hearings into the state’s nearly 38-year-old cap on victims’ recovery. <Read More>

Victims Of Medical Injustice Announce Initiative To Adjust 38 Year Old Damage Cap If Sacramento and Governor Do Not Act
Family members and victims of medical negligence announced a patient safety ballot measure in front of the state Capitol that will lift a nearly 38-year-old cap on victims’ recovery signed by Governor Brown in 1975.   The “38 is too late” group challenged the Legislature to deal with the problem or said it would let voters decide the fairness of the law that had not been updated in 38 years. <Read More>

Incompetent Medical Board Must Be Vacated To Address Patient Safety Crisis, Says Consumer Watchdog

The California Medical Board should be disbanded and patient safety laws reformed to prevent any more deaths caused by dangerous doctors who harm patients but continue practicing without repercussions, said Consumer Watchdog today. A Senate committee will vote this afternoon on a bill proposed by Senator Curren Price and Assemblyman Richard Gordon that would vacate the Medical Board for its failure to address the patient safety crisis in California. <Read More>

Sun Should Set On Medical Board That Fails to Protect Public From Drug-Using, Over-Prescribing, Dangerous Doctors, Says Consumer Watchdog
Consumer Watchdog called on the legislature to pull the plug on the Medical Board of California at hearings to renew it in Sacramento today because the board has failed in its duty to protect patients from drug dealing, over-prescribing and other dangerous doctors. The group also called for mandatory random drug testing of high-risk physicians. Bereaved families who have lost loved ones to overdoses due to reckless prescribing and other medical negligence demanded an end to failed doctor discipline and accountability in California. <Read More>


It's unbelievable.  A heart surgeon, who is practicing today, has a history of walking out on patients in the middle of open heart surgeries, according to a hospital administrator who filed a whistleblower lawsuit. The lawsuit follows a state report which found that a 72 year old patient is in a persistent vegetative state after the surgeon failed to close his chest cavity and told an unqualified physician assistant to finish the surgery. The doctor reportedly went out to lunch. <Read More>

Dennis Quaid Calls On Californians To Support Pack Patient Safety Act
“We were lucky to have a happy ending,” actor Dennis Quaid told a crowd at Consumer Watchdog’s Rage for Justice Awards in 2009. He was talking about the near-fatal overdose that his twins experienced at birth. They were given one thousand times the amount of blood thinner they were supposed to and nearly bled to death. “Their survival was the beginning of my activism." <Read More>

To the Ballot for Alana and Troy
Yesterday, at the 10th memorial of my children’s death, we started a march to the ballot for patient safety.  I hope you will join us. My seven year old, Alana, and ten year old, Troy,  died because an addict got thousands of pills she never should have been prescribed since she had no physical symptoms. <Read More>

Shouldn't Doctors Have To Pee In The Cup Too?
Pilots, college athletes, bus drivers and Disneyland cast members all are subjected to mandatory drug testing, but not the doctor performing open heart surgery, or a vasectomy. Not yet. Substance abuse among doctor runs twice as high among doctors as the general population -- 18% of physicians according to the California Medical Board. It's no wonder, they can deal their own drugs. <Read More>

Historic Step for Patient Safety & Victims' Rights
We just wanted to let you know that we have filed a ballot measure that has been 37 years in the making. If we collect about 750,000 valid signatures, voters will have a chance to adjust for inflation a three and a half decade-old cap on the value of a child's life if he or she is killed by medical negligence -- a $250,000 limit that has never been changed. <Read More>

Give my 6-week-old daughter's death meaning
My baby Mia died in a hospital at just 6 weeks of age from whooping cough in the middle of a whooping cough epidemic because doctors didn't give her a simple test. A 38-year-old law says her life is only worth $250,000 - that is the value of a child in California when they're harmed by the health care industry. It's wrong, and it's the reason medical negligence is so common today - there's little price to pay when something goes wrong.<Read More>

My Son's Life Is Worth More
Since 1975 the value of everything has gone up, except the value of my son’s life under California law.

Yesterday my son, Steven and I went to Sacramento to say “38 years is too late.” We announced a ballot initiative to create stronger patient safety laws and adjust this nearly 38 year-old law.  You can join our efforts by reading our story and others of patients like us at the new site “38 is too late” and liking our Facebook page. <Read More>

Statehouse Responds: Threatens to Put Medical Board Out of Business
Last month, at an emotional hearing in Sacramento and on the op-ed page of the San Francisco Chronicle, we called for the state agency that oversees doctors to become a stronger regulator or to go out of business.  The Legislature has to renew the doctor-run medical board every ten years, and that’s this year. Sacramento apparently agrees with us. <Read More>

Patients Can Change Patient Safety
There aren't too many great days for patient safety in state capitols, where the medical establishment tends to rule the roost through the power of its political giving and tentacles. But Monday was a great day for patient safety in Sacramento, when powerful testimony reminded legislators of the human cost of inaction. <Read More>

Patient Safety Is No Laughing Matter...Unless You Are On The CA Medical Board

Is patient safety really a laughing matter? California Medical Board member Dr. Silvia Diego seems to think so. Dr. Diego literally laughs during the October medical board meeting at the notion of doctors paying a modest increase in physician license fees to fund better policing of overprescribing physicians. <Read More>



KTVU Ch. 2 (San Francisco, CA) - 2 Investigates: Family Solicited For Hospital Donations After Child's Death

KTVU Ch. 2 (San Francisco, CA) - Is Your Doctor Under The Influence? A New Billboard May Be Able To Help

KPIX TV-5 CBS San Francisco - A New Billboard From Consumer Watchdog Aims To Help Patients

NBC Bay Area - Bob and Carmen Pack Launch the Patient Safety Act of 2014

KTVU Ch. 2 (San Francisco, CA) - The Troy and Alana Pack Foundation Campaign Kickoff

KABC TV-7 (Los Angeles, CA) - Shouldn't Doctors Pee In A Cup Too?

ABC TV-10 NEWS (San Diego, CA) - Victims of medical malpractice call for California law to be changed
Ashlee DeMartino

ABC 10 Sacramento - California political clash brews over malpractice cap
John Myers

NBC Los Angeles - Doctors and Lawyers Battling Over Medical Malpractice Law

KTVU FOX 2 - State Medical Board Not Protecting Patients From Incompetent Doctors

NBC Bay Area - Should Doctors Be Drug Tested?

Bob Pack & Jamie Court Q&A - 5/2 - California State Capitol

Ryan Jeffers - 5/2 - California State Capitol

Linda and Doug Wilkinson - 5/2 - California State Capitol

Kathy Olsen - 5/2 - California State Capitol

Kimber and Robyn Frankel - 5/2 - California State Capitol

The Smicks - 5/2 - California State Capitol

Jamie Court - 5/2 - California State Capitol

Bob Pack - 5/2 - California State Capitol

Eric Andrist - 5/2 - California State Capitol

KGO ABC 7 - Injured Patients & Families Members In State Capitol To Adjust 38 Year Old Damage Cap

KOVR CBS TV-13 Sacramento - Victims Of Medical Injustice Call On CA Legislature To Fix 38 Year Old Damage Cap

KABC TV-7 LA - Over-Prescribing Doctors Getting A Free Pass By The State Medical Board?

KGET TV-17 NBC Bakersfield, CA - Consumer Watchdog Calls For New And Independent Medical Oversight Board

KTVU FOX SF - Rally Speakers Call For Changes In How Complaints About Doctors Are Handled


The Troy and Alana Pack Patient Safety Act Announcement Press Conference

Let the Sun Set on the California Medical Board Rally in Sacramento