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Patient Safety

Patient Safety delegation meeting with Sen. Feinstein's Staff

ABOVE: Patient advocates working to reform medical malpractice laws meet with Sen. Feinstein's staff.

Medical negligence is a silent epidemic that claims hundreds of thousands of Americans’ lives annually. Consumer Watchdog fights for greater doctor discipline and physician accountability through the regulatory and legal system. We work with patients injured by medical malpractice and their families to tell their stories, improve patient safety and create legal deterrence to medical negligence.

Consumer Watchdog has long opposed and sought to rollback California’s “one size fits all” cap on what injured patients can recover from juries and to stop the spread of this cruel cap on courts across the nation. The medical insurance complex defeated a California ballot initiative in 2014, Prop 46, that would have lifted the cap and instituted drug testing of doctors. A third provision of the ballot measure, the requirement that doctors check an existing database of prescriptions before prescribing narcotics for the first time, was signed into law by Governor Brown in 2016 and in effect.

 Read Stories Of 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.

Medical Malpractice Resource Page

Patient Safety Articles

Every doctor in California will soon be required to use the most powerful tool we have to identify and prevent opioid abuse: the state prescription drug database known as CURES.

Sacramento, CA -- Doctors on probation for sexually assaulting their patients and for other serious misconduct causing patient harm would be required to disclose this to their patients under SB 1448 (Hill), which passed out of the Senate Business and Professions Committee on Monday with bipartisa

Santa Monica, CA -- The California Department of Justice told the legislature today that it will delay implementation of a key technological tool for stemming the opioid abuse crisis until 2019, more than a year later than the database was deployed statewide.

SAN JOSE, CA -- With the state of the state speech tomorrow, the parents of a child killed by a doctor who got off with only a public reprimand and consumer advocate Ralph Nader separately wrote Governor Jerry Brown to ask him to deal with California’s patient safety crisis. 

Your job is to protect the public, not protect dangerous doctors.Sham

Santa Monica, CA – The California Supreme Court today issued a decision affirming the right of the Medical Board of California to use the state prescription drug database to protect patients from incompetent and negligent doctors, and to prevent dangerous and illegal prescribing of opioids and ot

Santa Monica, CA – Consumer Watchdog condemned today’s vote by the U.S. House of Representatives to pass a bill taking away the rights of patients harmed by medical negligence, unsafe drugs, defective medical devices and nursing home abuse.

Sacramento, CA – Physician oversight remains broken four years after a legislative review committee considered shutting down the Medical Board of California if it did not improve patient protection, Consumer Watchdog will testify today at the sunset review hearing into the future of the Board.