Fairness Act

ab35 signing

After Californians organized to update the cap and gathered enough signatures to place the Fairness for Injured Patients Act on the November 2022 California ballot, their efforts were rewarded by Governor Newsom’s historic signature on legislation to update California’s 47-year-old medical malpractice damage cap and restore injured patients’ access to justice.

Proponents of the Fairness for Injured Patients Act, including Consumer Watchdog board member Scott Olsen, withdrew the initiative measure that spurred the legislative compromise from the ballot in response to the legislative compromise.

That deal was signed into law in May 2022 and law will restore injured families’ access to justice.

The bill, AB 35, will restore families’ access to justice by:

  • Increasing the cap to $500,000 for wrongful death cases and $350,000 for injury cases on January 1 of 2023.
  • Raising the cap in increments every year for ten years, until it reaches $1 million for wrongful death cases and $750,000 for injury cases in 2033. 
  • Allowing for up to three separate caps in cases when multiple providers and institutions are responsible. Starting next year the maximum cap could be $1.5 million for wrongful death cases, and $1.05 million for injury cases. By 2033 it will be a maximum $3 million for wrongful death and $2.25 million for injury cases.
  • Increasing the cap by 2% every year starting in 2034.

 

See below for a history of cases from Californians harmed by medical negligence because of a cap set in 1975 by the state legislature that limited compensation for lost quality of life and wrongful death, and had never been updated.

The cap hurts every Californian, but disproportionately harms Black, Hispanic and Indigenous people, low-income patients, women, and children.

Meet campaign chair Charles Johnson, whose wife Kira died after giving birth when her bladder was cut and her complaints of pain were negligently ignored for 10 hours.

Kira Johnson

Meet FIPA proponent Scott Olsen and his 30-year-old son Steven, who has permanent brain damage from medical negligence when he was two.

Scott Olsen

Meet FIPA proponents Nelson and Bree Moreno and their daughter Mia, who has cerebral palsy and will never be independent due to medical negligence.

Mia

Meet more patients denied justice in California because of the 45-year-old limits on patient rights.

GET THE FACTS

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 ini

07/22/2020 - 09:05

Demi Dominguez was just about to graduate fr 06/05/2020 - 09:08

Bakersfield, CA – The Medical Board of California’s decision to allow Dr.

06/03/2020 - 10:56

Los Angeles, CA — 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 they will be pushing the vote to 2022. Proponents have collected almost one million signatures.

04/30/2020 - 10:40

We have now collected more than 633,000 signatures for the Fairness For Injured Patients Act -- which will adjust the 1975 cap on compensation for injured patients.

02/24/2020 - 12:30

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.

01/24/2020 - 10:25

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.  Ni 01/17/2020 - 12:14

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.

01/16/2020 - 09:58