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KNTV, NBC Bay Area, CA - Reality Check: CA Malpractice Laws Prove Fertile Ground for Political Fight

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KNTV, NBC Bay Area, CA

Buoyed by support from the consumer advocacy group, Consumer Watchdog, Danville father Bob Packs has formally submitted a measure to the state that would raise the medical malpractice awards cap for non-economic injuries, a move sure to inflame tensions on a longstanding debate.

The initiative would require several policy changes targeted at strengthening “victims’ rights and patient safety,” according to Pack, including certain forms of drug testing for doctors and mandatory background checks on patients.

But the most controversial element of the measure is likely the cap change, which would raise the ceiling for emotional losses and suffering from $250,000 to roughly $1.1 million.

“In today’s value, you cannot file a lawsuit for the loss of a loved one for $250,000,” Pack said, “so essentially you’re locked out of justice.”