Patient Safety

Fairness Act

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, have filed the Fairness for Injured Patients Act (FIPA), a proposed initiative for the November 2020 California ballot.   The ballot measure is a continuation of Consumer Watchdog's decades-long work to improve patient safety, help injured patients get justice and hold those who commit medical malfeasance accountable.

FIPA would adjust the maximum $250,000 compensation cap set in 1975 by the legislature on quality of life and wrongful death survivor damages that has never been updated. The initiative adjusts 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 requires that juries be informed about the existence of the cap. 

California’s maximum $250,000 compensation cap set by the legislature 45 years ago is worth 80 percent less today, only $50,768 in 1975 dollars. Indexing the $250,000 cap for inflation would raise it to $1,231,084.45 in today’s dollars.

Read the press release about filing of the ballot measure by families of injured patients.

More than half the states in the nation do not have caps like California. 20 states and the District of Columbia have no caps at all. 14 other states have caps with exemptions for wrongful death or catastrophic injury. California is 1 of just 3 states with a cap as low as $250,000 with no exceptions. 

 


 

Meet Mia

 

Meet Scott & Steven

 

Meet Annette


GALLERY: Injured Patients Denied Justice In California

Medical Negligence Reports & Resources:

  • How Insurance Reform Lowered Doctor's Medical Malpractice Rates In California: And How Malpractice Caps Failed In this groundbreaking report, Consumer Watchdog shows the success of insurance regulation and dispels the myth that California's malpractice cap -- the model for so many proposals around the country -- is responsible for reducing insurance premiums in the state.

  • Medical Malpractice Premiums Graph This graph (published in the Sacramento Bee) compares what happened to malpractice insurance premiums after "MICRA," California's damage cap law, passed in 1975 and after the passage of insurance reform Proposition 103 in 1988. Hint: The result wasn’t what proponents of MICRA promised.

  • Rate Savings Chart Rate challenges brought by Consumer Watchdog under insurance reform Proposition 103's public participation process have saved doctors in California $77 million. View the chart detailing each unjustified malpractice insurance rate increase.

Resource Page: Medical Negligence

Patient Safety Articles

Consumer Watchdog filed a new ballot measure Thursday to make a frontal assault on the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act, known as MICRA, a 1975 law capping non-economic medical negligence damages at $250,000,

By Y. Peter Kang, LAW 360

September 27, 2019

 

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

"We are the most progressive state in the country with the most regressive medical malpractice laws in the country," the president of Consumer Watchdog says.

By Cheryl Miller, THE RECORDER

September 26, 2019

By Adam Beam, ASSOCIATED PRESS

September 26, 2019

Last week SB 325, a bill by Senator Jerry Hill to require the state of California to license and oversee outpatient substance abuse treatment centers, faced its first test in the legislature. It passed the Senate Health Committee unanimously.

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.

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.

KTTV, Los Angeles - Consumer Watchdog Lauds New CA Law That Would Require Doctors to Check Drug Prescription Database