Overturning Medical Malpractice Caps in California

Fairness for Patients Act California Medical Malpractice

Today, Trial Guides contributed an additional $10,000 to the California Fairness for Injured Patients' Act ballot measure campaign. California has a statutory cap for non-economic damages of $250,000 in medical malpractice claims. The cap has been in place since 1975 with no increase for the rate of medical inflation, or even the Consumer Price Index inflation rate. California presently has the lowest non-economic damage cap in the United States.  

As noted in Professor Tom Baker's landmark book The Medical Malpractice Myth medical malpractice litigation (even without caps) has no appreciable impact on the rates of inflation in medical malpractice insurance rates, and contrary to myths fabricated by the insurance industry, does not drive doctors out of practice.  According to Baker, the massive increase in medical malpractice rates are caused by insurers maximizing profits on the back of doctors by creating conflict between doctors and medical facilities and the legal community.  Baker posits that full damages for medical negligence is important in minimizing the amount death and disabling injuries caused by medical malpractice in the United States.

Trial Guides views our contribution as an important effort to prevent injuries and death caused by medical negligence which is presently the third leading cause of death in the United States unnecessarily killing 250,000 people per year.  

Medical Malpractice Deaths in the United States

Deaths and injuries from medical malpractice are often caused by a small number of doctors who clearly violate the standards of care in the medical community.  Despite the very serious danger caused by medical negligence over 90% of medical malpractice trials nationwide result in a defense verdict in favor of the doctor.  As noted by trial legend Moe Levine, juries are "the conscience of the community" and have the power to decide whether doctors have violated the standard of care. Allowing juries to provide full justice to people hurt or killed by medical malpractice limits or prevents these doctors from continuing to hurt more patients.

Ask yourself, what other legal companies and associations are contributing to this important campaign? And if not, why not?  Any organization that purports to support the safety of the public should support this important measure. Trial Guides continues to take a leading role in protecting people and encourages others to support this important public safety issue.  You can contribute to the campaign on the Fairness for Injured Patients Act page.

For more on our products aimed at representing victims of medical malpractice and their families, see our Medical Malpractice Discovery Page.