“Never Events” Documentary Makes Streaming Debut This Week Showcasing Lives Destroyed by Unjust Medical Negligence Cap and Medical Harm

Los Angeles, CA – The must-see documentary “Never Events,” that follows the journey of multiple families who fought for change after suffering lifelong harm or loss due to medical negligence, debuts this week on Amazon, Apple TV and other streaming services. The documentary exposes the trauma caused by medical negligence, the third leading cause of death in America, and California’s cap on compensation for patients who are harmed that prevents them from getting justice or accountability for their loss. 



California Lawmakers Answer Injured Patients’ Call for Reform, Propose Nation’s First Public Member Majority Medical Board

Sacramento, CA – California lawmakers have moved legislation to the Senate Floor to make California the first state in the nation whose Medical Board has a majority of public, not doctor, members. The bill follows months of calls for increased public representation from families harmed by medical negligence who have been denied answers and accountability by both the Medical Board and the state’s 46-year-old cap on compensation for injured patients. 
 

National Report Ranks California Medical Board 33rd Worst in Discipline, As Lawmakers Offer Tough Critique of Board’s Oversight of Dangerous Doctors

Los Angeles, CA – California is worse than two-thirds of states in the country when it comes to disciplining doctors whose negligence or incompetence causes patients serious harm, according to a new report by the nonprofit consumer advocacy organization Public Citizen.  The report comes as California’s legislature shines a harsh light on endemic failures in the Medical Board of California’s system of disciplining doctors as part of its sunset review oversight hearings.

State Senator Plans To Ask California Medical Board Tough Questions To Protect Central Valley

By Iliana Capellan, KGET NBC TV-17 Bakersfield, CA

March 19, 2021

https://www.kget.com/news/local-news/state-senator-plans-to-ask-califor…

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Last week we told you about the fight the Dominguez family continues to battle for justice for Demi Dominguez and her son Malakhi De Leon, both of who died in 2019. 

Families Harmed By Medical Negligence To Testify Doctor-Run Medical Board Is Not Protecting the Public from Harm, Call for Public Member-Majority Board

Sacramento, CA – Consumer Watchdog and a dozen Fairness for Injured Patients campaign advocates who were harmed by medical negligence and failed by the Medical Board of California will call on the legislature to turn control of the doctor-run Board over to the public, in testimony on Friday.  

They will support recommendations before the Legislature’s sunset review committee to add two public members to the board, which has 8 doctor members and just 7 public seats, 2 of which are currently vacant.

Family of Demi Dominguez Speaking Out Regarding Pending Revocation of Doctor's License

By Lezla Gooden, KERO ABC TV-23, Bakersfield, CA

March 12, 2021

https://www.turnto23.com/news/local-news/family-of-demi-dominguez-speak…

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Two years after her death, the family of Demi Dominguez is speaking out after it was announced the Medical Board of California is seeking to revoke the license of one of her doctors.

KGET NBC TV-17 Bakersfield, CA: Family’s Fight for Justice Continues for Young Mother and Baby

Marchers Call For Systemic Reform After Young Black Father-To-Be Dies Following Some 8 Hours In Manteca ER

By Scott Linesburgh, THE STOCKTON RECORD

February 13, 2021

https://www.recordnet.com/story/news/local/2021/02/13/this-shouldnt-hav…

MANTECA – Sharon Washington-Barnes led a group of more than 40 people on a 1.5-mile march through southwest Manteca, visiting each of the medical facilities they felt failed her late brother, Shawn Washington II.

‘We Will Not Rest’: March For Justice As Alleged Medical Negligence Case In Manteca Continues

By Laura S. Diaz, THE STOCKTON RECORD

February 12, 2021

https://www.recordnet.com/story/news/local/2021/02/12/manteca-march-see…

MANTECA — Shawn Washington III was coughing up blood and having difficulty breathing when he sought help at the Kaiser Permanente emergency room in Manteca at about 1 a.m. on April 26, 2019. Less than 7½ hours later, he was pronounced dead.

Racial Justice Groups Endorse Fairness Act to Reform Medical Negligence Law, Call on Governor Newsom and Legislature to Act

Manteca, CA -- A coalition of Central Valley racial justice groups announced their endorsement of the Fairness for Injured Patients Act, the 2022 ballot initiative to update California’s discriminatory cap on compensation for patients harmed by medical negligence. 
 

History of Positions Undermining Patient Safety Disqualify Former Leaders of Doctors’ Lobby For Seats on CA Medical Board, Patients Harmed by Medical Negligence to Testify

Sacramento, CA – Two former leaders of the California Medical Association should be rejected as nominees to the Medical Board of California for their records opposing common sense patient safety reforms, Consumer Watchdog will testify at their confirmation hearing today.

The Senate Rules Committee hearing begins at 1:30PM and can be viewed on Senate TV at: https://www.senate.ca.gov/

On World AIDS Day, an HIV+ Man Sues Doctor and Medical Group for Discrimination After Refusing to Provide Treatment

Los Angeles, CA -- An HIV positive man filed a discrimination lawsuit in federal court to coincide with World AIDS Day against a surgeon and medical group for refusing to treat him because of his HIV status.   

Download the lawsuit here: https://www.consumerwatchdog.org/sites/default/files/2020-11/SmithvPate…

Today is World AIDS Day, an annual event since 1988 to support those living with HIV and to commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness.

“I Can’t Breathe” Said Black Manteca Man Killed by Medical Negligence at Kaiser Hospital

Manteca, CA – The family of Shawn Washington, a 29-year-old Black man killed by medical negligence at Kaiser Manteca Medical Center, called on the Medical Board of California and the California Department of Public Health to hold his medical providers, and the hospital where he died, accountable. His family has joined patients across the state to support the Fairness for Injured Patients Act, a 2022 ballot measure to ensure equal justice for families harmed by medical negligence.

New Website & Interactive Map Tells the Stories of Medical Negligence Victims Denied Justice Representing Every CA State Senate District on World Patient Safety Day

Los Angeles, CA - As California courts and voters confront the injustice of the state’s 45-year-old limits on the rights of medical negligence victims, Consumer Watchdog celebrates World Patient Safety Day on Sept. 17th with the launch of a new website featuring video, photos and an interactive map to tell the stories of injured patients who are fighting for change. They are the force behind the Fairness for Patients Act on the November 2022 California ballot.

KVPR NPR Bakersfield, CA: State Senator Questions Medical Board About Its Handling Of Bakersfield Doctor After Patient Deaths

State Senator Questions Medical Board About Its Handling Of Bakersfield Doctor After Patient Deaths

By Kerry Klein, KVPR NPR Bakersfield, CA

September 1, 2020

https://www.kvpr.org/post/state-senator-questions-medical-board-about-i…

A San Joaquin Valley legislator is seeking answers from the Medical Board of California as to why the oversight agency allowed a Bakersfield doctor to remain in practice even though it determined he had been negligent with patients.

Survivors of Medical Negligence Qualify Ballot Initiative for 2022 Election

Los Angeles, CA — Having collected 900,000 signatures and raised over $4 million, the survivors of medical negligence behind a California ballot measure to adjust California’s 45-year-old cap on quality of life and survivor damages announced today that the Secretary of State has certified the initiative for the November 2022 ballot.
 

Bakersfield OB-GYN Placed On Probation In Connection With Allegations Of Repeated Negligent Acts

By Amber Frias, KGET NBC-TV, Bakersfield, CA

June 25, 2020

https://www.kget.com/news/local-news/bakersfield-ob-gyn-placed-on-proba…

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – The medical license of a Bakersfield ob-gyn has been placed on probation for five years after allegations that gross negligence and repeated negligent acts led to a new mother’s death.

A Call To Action To Hold Medical Board Accountable For Death Of 23-Year-Old Demi Dominguez

By Elizabeth Christian, BAKERSFIELD NOW

June 20, 2020

https://bakersfieldnow.com/news/local/a-call-to-action-to-hold-medical-…

Bakersfield, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX)- A tragic case that happened a year ago claimed the life of 23-year-old Demi Dominguez. Dominguez gave birth to a baby boy and later bled to death. The baby was declared brain dead and he didn't survive either.

Demi Dominguez, Bakersfield

Demi Dominguez was just about to graduate from Cal State Bakersfield with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology.  Her plan was to go to graduate school to continue her studies in psychology and become a counselor. But her life was cut short by preventable medical negligence.

Medical Board of California Allows Doctor Responsible for the Death and Injury of Eight Bakersfield Patients to Keep Medical License

Bakersfield, CA – The Medical Board of California’s decision to allow Dr. Arthur Park to continue practicing, despite a 20-year track record of negligence causing catastrophic injuries and death in the Bakersfield community, will unconscionably place even more patients at risk, said Consumer Watchdog today. The Medical Board signed a settlement deal with Dr. Park last week which has granted him five years of probation and the ability to continue to practice with restrictions.

California Battle On Malpractice Caps Delayed To 2022 Ballot

By Staff Writers, ASSOCIATED PRESS

April 30, 2020

https://www.thehour.com/news/article/California-battle-on-malpractice-c…

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Fallout from the coronavirus pandemic has delayed by two years what likely would have been one of the most expensive California ballot battles leading up to this November's election, initiative supporters said Thursday.

Consumer Watchdog Demands that Medical Board of California Immediately Suspend Bakersfield Doctor’s Medical License: Bakersfield Patients at Risk

Bakersfield, CA – Consumer Watchdog called on the Medical Board of California to fulfill its mission to protect health care consumers and immediately suspend the license of Bakersfield physician Dr. Jason Helliwell.

Funeral Fundraiser for Bakersfield Mother, Victim of Doctor with History of Negligence

Family of Bakersfield Mother of Four Holds Car Wash to Raise Funds for Her Funeral; Discovers Her Doctor Has a History of Arrests and Negligence

Bakersfield, CA – The family of 28-year-old Sabrina De La Rosa should be celebrating the birth of her baby boy Jaxx with Sabrina surrounded by her loving friends and family.  Instead, they are holding fundraisers to raise money to hold memorial services for the young mother of four.  Nine months pregnant De La Rosa was taken to Memorial Hospital – Bakersfield with labor pains.   Her family anxiously awaited the arrival of her child.  Instead, her family was left in shock when Baby Jaxx was brought into the world without his mother Sabrina to care for him.

Consumer Watchdog Campaign: Supporters of the Fairness for Injured Patients Initiative Announce 307,000 Signatures Collected

Los Angeles, CA -- Supporters of the Fairness for Injured Patients Act announced today that in just five weeks they have gathered 307,000 of the petition signatures needed to qualify the initiative measure for the November 2020 ballot. The group also notified the Secretary of State that they have passed the 25% signature threshold, triggering a requirement that the Legislature hold a public hearing about the measure.

CA’s $250,000 Compensation Cap Set in 1975 is Most Regressive in America

20 states plus Washington, DC have no cap on noneconomic damages.

      - These include progressive states such as New York, Washington, and Connecticut as well as conservative states like Alabama, Wyoming, and Kentucky.

California is 1 of just 3 states with a cap as low as $250,000 with no exceptions. $250,000 is the lowest cap in the country. (Montana and Texas are the other two)

In just 2019, 3 states either overturned their caps or adjusted them for inflation.

Medical Negligence Survivors Launch Nov 2020 Ballot Measure Signature Drive For Proposal To Raise 1975 Compensation Cap That Was Never Adjusted

Sacramento, CA -- Medical negligence survivors and advocates for a proposed ballot measure launched a petition signature drive for the Fairness for Injured Patients Act (FIPA), which will adjust the compensation cap imposed on injured patients by Sacramento politicians in 1975 that has never been adjusted.   

Juries are not told of the cap and injured patients cannot receive more than $250,000 for their quality of life and wrongful-death survivor damages, no matter how serious the injury or severe the medical negligence.

Calif. Group Seeks To Raise State's Med Mal Damages Cap

By Y. Peter Kang, LAW 360

September 27, 2019

 

https://www.law360.com/california/articles/1203371/calif-group-seeks-to…

Law360 (September 27, 2019, 9:18 PM EDT) -- A consumer advocacy group has launched a ballot initiative that would significantly raise California’s cap on pain-and-suffering damages in medical malpractice cases, five years after a similar proposal was shot down by voters.

Families of Injured Patients File California Ballot Measure To Adjust $250,000 Maximum Compensation Cap Set by Politicians In 1975 That Has Never Been Updated

Sacramento, CA -- The father of a 29-year-old man disabled for life by medical negligence when he was two and the parents of a young girl with life-long disabilities, who await their daughter’s medical negligence trial, filed the Fairness for Injured Patients Act  (FIPA) today, a proposed initiative for the November 2020 ballot. 

Patient Safety Advocates Say Overdose Death Investigations Critical To Protecting Patients and Reducing Dangerous Opioid Overprescribing

Milpitas, CA – Patient safety advocates testified to the Medical Board of California today that its initiative to investigate excessive prescribing by doctors involved in prescription overdose deaths is critical to state efforts to end the opioid overdose epidemic.

2018 Wins, 2019 Resolutions

Given the divide in America, it’s truly been remarkable how much we have accomplished together in 2018. Below's just some of what we accomplished in 2018, and you can also watch this short highlights video about our victories.

The nation’s toughest online privacy law:  A new California law requires that companies tell you what information they collect about you, give you the right to say no, and are legally accountable for data breaches.

First-in-Nation Bill To End Secrecy Around Doctor Sexual Assault and Other Patient Harm Passes CA Legislature

Sacramento, CA – California would be the first state in the nation to mandate doctors tell their patients when they are disciplined for sexual assault or other patient harm under legislation that passed the Assembly and Senate today and goes to Governor Brown's desk.

​​​​​​​New Medical Board App Falls Short Of the In-Person Disclosure of Physician Misconduct That Patients Deserve, Says Consumer Watchdog

Los Angeles, CA – A new app released by the Medical Board of California today cannot replace a simple in-person disclosure as the best way to notify patients if their doctor has been disciplined for causing patient harm, said Consumer Watchdog.

Consumer Watchdog Calls On Attorney General To Investigate Fresno Hospital Accused Of Covering Up Doctor’s Negligence

Los Angeles, CA – The state must launch an immediate investigation into a Fresno hospital and its executives accused by whistleblowers of covering up years of negligence and substance abuse by a cardiac surgeon who was a significant source of revenue for the hospital, Consumer Watchdog wrote in a letter sent to the Attorney General and President of the state Medical Board yesterday. 

Bill To End Silence About Doctor Sexual Assault and Other Patient Harm Advances

Sacramento, CA – Legislation to lift the veil of secrecy around physician sexual assault and other patient harm today passed its final policy committee, the Assembly Business & Professions Committee, with a 15 – 1 vote. Survivors of physician sexual assault, including Olympic and Michigan State University athletes abused by team doctor Larry Nassar, and public interest advocates including Consumer Watchdog, testified in support of SB 1448, to require physicians to inform their patients when they are on probation for causing egregious patient harm.

CURES Database Will Be Vital in Preventing Opioid Deaths but Faces Powerful Special Interest Opposition

Every doctor in California will soon be required to use the most powerful tool we have to identify and prevent opioid abuse: the state prescription drug database known as CURES. Beginning in October, doctors will have to check the database and review a patient’s prescription history before prescribing opioids and other dangerous drugs.

​​​​​​​Lawmakers Vote to Lift Veil of Secrecy About Physician Sexual Assault & Other Doctor Misconduct Causing Patient Harm

Sacramento, CA -- Doctors on probation for sexually assaulting their patients and for other serious misconduct causing patient harm would be required to disclose this to their patients under SB 1448 (Hill), which passed out of the Senate Business and Professions Committee on Monday with bipartisan support.

Patients With Medical Horror Stories Demand the California Medical Board Back Patient Bill of Rights Requiring Transparency, Accountability To Prevent Patient Harm

Los Angeles, CA – Patients who were sexually assaulted by doctors and lost loved ones to doctors’ negligence shared their medical horror stories today and pressed the California Medical Board to adopt a new Patient Bill of Rights and ensure future patients are protected.

The stories told at today’s meeting of the Medical Board illustrate the devastating harm caused to patients by a regulatory system in which doctors’ records of patient harm are hidden and patient complaints go unheeded. The patients and families testifying included:

Sexual Assault Allegations Against Salinas Doctor Go Unaddressed By Hospital and Regulators

Los Angeles, CA – The nonprofit patient advocacy group Consumer Watchdog called on state regulators to immediately suspend the license of a Salinas doctor being prosecuted by the Monterey County District Attorney’s office for sexually assaulting a patient. A separate lawsuit alleges that two eyewitnesses saw Dr. Robert Wlodarczyk assault the patient as she was coming out of anesthesia following a cardiac procedure.

Atty Gen Falls Behind In Prioritizing Opioid Tracking Tool

Santa Monica, CA -- The California Department of Justice told the legislature today that it will delay implementation of a key technological tool for stemming the opioid abuse crisis until 2019, more than a year later than the database was deployed statewide. The technology appears sound, but the delay seems to be in prioritizing personnel to accomplish its certification, according to today’s testimony.

Grieving Parents and Ralph Nader Call Out Gov. Brown

SAN JOSE, CA -- With the state of the state speech tomorrow, the parents of a child killed by a doctor who got off with only a public reprimand and consumer advocate Ralph Nader separately wrote Governor Jerry Brown to ask him to deal with California’s patient safety crisis. 

They both reminded Brown of words he personally spoke to them, in one case condemning the state law on malpractice Brown himself signed 43 years ago and, in the other, offering to stay involved in the family's struggle.

California Supreme Court Affirms Medical Board’s Use Of State Prescription Drug Database to Discipline Dangerous Doctors and Prevent Opioid Abuse

Santa Monica, CA – The California Supreme Court today issued a decision affirming the right of the Medical Board of California to use the state prescription drug database to protect patients from incompetent and negligent doctors, and to prevent dangerous and illegal prescribing of opioids and other powerful medications.

U.S. House Narrowly Passes Bill Stripping Rights of Patients Harmed By Medical Negligence

Santa Monica, CA – Consumer Watchdog condemned today’s vote by the U.S. House of Representatives to pass a bill taking away the rights of patients harmed by medical negligence, unsafe drugs, defective medical devices and nursing home abuse. The legislation, HR 1215, would place a $250,000 cap on non-economic damages in medical negligence cases and close the courtroom door to injured patients, for example women who are permanently sterilized due to a doctor’s negligence. The bill narrowly passed, 218-210.

Medical Board Oversight of California Doctors Remains Broken, Consumer Watchdog Will Testify Today at Legislative Hearing into Board's Future

Sacramento, CA – Physician oversight remains broken four years after a legislative review committee considered shutting down the Medical Board of California if it did not improve patient protection, Consumer Watchdog will testify today at the sunset review hearing into the future of the Board.

California Supreme Court To Review Constitutionality of Medical Malpractice Damages Cap

SANTA MONICA, CA: The California Supreme Court said today it will review the constitutionality of the state’s arbitrary 39-year-old damages cap of $250,000 in medical malpractice cases in Hughes v. Pham. Last week, Consumer Watchdog wrote an amicus letter asking the Court to review Hughes and overturn this decades-old injustice.

Consumer Watchdog Campaign: Senator Boxer Joins Mothers Who Lost Children To Medical Malpractice To Call For Voters' Support For Prop 46

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Today Senator Barbara Boxer stood with mothers who lost their children to medical negligence in calling on California voters to support for the patient safety protections in Proposition 46. The campaign supporting Prop 46 also released an ad featuring Barbara Boxer.

Consumer Watchdog Campaign: Fla. Supreme Court Rules Medical Malpractice Damage Cap Unconstitutional

Santa Monica, CA – 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

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