By Victoria Colliver, POLITICO PRO

July 19, 2021

A medical malpractice company based in Napa dropped $5 million into the fight against a November 2022 ballot measure to increase California’s medical malpractice compensation cap.

What happened: The Doctors Company on Monday filed the campaign contribution, which went to Californians to Protect Patients and Contain Health Care Costs, a coalition of insurers, doctors and other providers that oppose the proposition.

The campaign: Expect a fierce and costly battle over the measure, which would overhaul the 1975 Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act, known as MICRA.

The measure, funded primarily by a wealthy trial attorney, calls for adjusting for inflation the $250,000 compensation cap set by the state Legislature 46 years ago. It would initially raise the limit to $1.2 million for people injured as a result of "non-economic" damages, or pain and suffering, from catastrophic injury or death.

The campaign has already started to heat up with the opponents last month filing a Fair Political Practices Commission complaint accusing the measure's backers of failing to include the required disclaimers in their advertising.

The dollar signs: The medical malpractice company's contribution is the latest and largest addition to the campaign, which also includes donations from the California Orthopaedic Association and NORCAL Mutual Insurance Company. Opponents of the measure have raised just over $6 million, according to campaign finance reports filed with the Secretary of State.

The main proponents, the Fairness for Injured Patients Act Coalition, have raised about $240,000 so far. Several law firms are listed among the contributors. Consumer Watchdog, which backed an unsuccessful 2014 ballot measure to raise the MICRA cap, has formed its own coalition to campaign for the measure.