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. 

 


 

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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

By Stacey Shepard, THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN

January 25, 2020

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.

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

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.

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

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