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A lawsuit brought by the family of Maria de Jesus Arroyo alleges that the 80-year-old grandmother woke in the morgue after being declared dead at White Memorial Medical Center. She struggled to escape before finally freezing to death, according to a pathologist who reviewed the case. In cases of negligence not involving wage loss or ongoing medical bills, such as the death of an elderly parent, the most a family can recover from the negligent medical provider is $250,000.

The cap that limits accountability for negligence in cases involving the death of an elderly parent or child will be adjusted for 38 years of inflation by a patient safety initiative headed for the November ballot now endorsed by California Senator Barbara Boxer.