September 26, 2019

Several families of inured patients on Thursday filed proposed initiative for the November 2020 ballot to raise California’s medical malpractice cap.

The cap is set by the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act, MICRA, passed in 1975.

The Fairness for Injured Patients Act was filed with the Secretary of state.

The initiative, if it qualifies, would adjust the maximum $250,000 compensation cap on quality of life and wrongful death survivor damages. It would adjust the compensation cap for inflation, allows judges and jurors to decide that compensation above the cap is appropriate in certain cases of catastrophic injury or death, and require that juries be informed about the existence of the cap.

California’s maximum $250,000 compensation cap is worth $50,768 in 1975 dollars. Indexing the $250,000 cap for inflation would raise it to $1,231,084.45 in today’s dollars, according to proponents.

Proponents argue that more than half the states in the nation have do not have caps like California, and 20 states and the District of Columbia have no caps at all, while 15 other states have caps with exemptions for wrongful death or catastrophic injury.

Santa Monica-based Consumer Watchdog is backing the initiative.

The same group was also behind an unsuccessful effort in 2913 to raise the $250,000 limit on pain and suffering to $1.1 million.