Patient Safety

Fairness Act Map

These families’ stories of harm in the health care system inspire Consumer Watchdog’s work to improve patient safety, help injured patients get justice and hold those who commit medical malpractice accountable.Meet the families fighting for injured patients

HOW MALPRACTICE CAPS TAKE AWAY PATIENT RIGHTS

In 1975, California politicians capped compensation for patients injured by medical negligence at $250,000.  Forty-five years after it was enacted, the cap has never been adjusted for inflation. It is worth less than $50,000 today. The cap prevents many patients from ever getting justice, and deepens the racial inequalities in the health care system, disproportionately harming low income patients, communities of color, women and children. More about caps

FAIRNESS FOR INJURED PATIENTS ON THE BALLOT

The families of children permanently harmed by medical negligence have qualified the Fairness for Injured Patients Act (FIPA) initiative for the November 2022 California ballot. Learn more and sign up to support the measure to update the cap and restore patients’ access to justice. 

HOLDING MEDICAL PROVIDERS ACCOUNTABLE

The Medical Board of California is responsible for regulating doctors in the state of California. Their mandate is patient protection. Yet, for four decades, the Board has failed to protect patients, allowing negligent doctors who repeatedly harm or even kill their patients to continue practicing with impunity. Learn more about Consumer Watchdog’s fights in the legislature and at the Medical Board to hold doctors accountable and make patients safe.

PATIENT RIGHT TO KNOW 

California became the first state in the nation to require doctors to disclose before a patient’s appointment if they are on probation for sexual assault or other serious misconduct. The law was blocked by the medical lobby until the MeToo movement helped ensure the voices of survivors of physician sexual assault were heard. Read about the victory for patient safety

OPIOID OVERPRESCRIBING

A seven-year battle by a father who lost his young children to reckless overprescribing culminated in a mandate for California doctors to review a patient’s prescription history before prescribing opioids and other dangerous narcotics. 

Read about the win

Meet the Pack family

Patient Safety Articles

Mon, 12/16/2019 - 09:50

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

Thu, 09/26/2019 - 13:16

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

Mon, 04/15/2019 - 17:28

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.

Fri, 02/01/2019 - 09:54

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.

Sat, 12/29/2018 - 10:11

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.

Wed, 10/03/2018 - 15:47 KTTV, Los Angeles - Consumer Watchdog Lauds New CA Law That Would Require Doctors to Check Drug Prescription Database
Wed, 09/19/2018 - 16:50

Sacramento, CA -- Doctors in California will have to be honest with their patients if they are on probation for sexual assa

Sat, 09/01/2018 - 12:41

A win in the California statehouse on the last day of session usually means not losing too much, but last night California consumers  scored tangible victories.

Here is last night's statehouse scorecard:

Fri, 08/31/2018 - 13:58

Sacramento, CA – California would be the first state in the nation to mandate doctors tell their patients when they are disciplined for sexual assault or other patient harm under legislation that passed the Assembly and Senate today and goes to Governor Brown's desk.

Thu, 07/26/2018 - 15:50

Los Angeles, CA – A new app released by the Medical Board of California today cannot replace a simple in-person disclosure as the best way to notify patients if their doctor has been disciplined for causing patient harm, said Consumer Watchdog.

Thu, 07/12/2018 - 12:44

Los Angeles, CA – The state must launch an immediate investigation into a Fresno hospital and its executives accused by whistleblowers of covering up years of negligence and substance abuse by a cardiac surgeon who was a significant source of revenue for the hospital, Consumer Watchdog w

Tue, 06/19/2018 - 11:39

Sacramento, CA – Legislation to lift the veil of secrecy around physician sexual assault and other patient harm today passed its final policy committee, the Assembly Business & Professions Committee, with a 15 – 1 vote.

Tue, 05/01/2018 - 16:20

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.

Tue, 04/24/2018 - 13:32

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

Thu, 04/19/2018 - 12:58

Los Angeles, CA – Patients who were sexually assaulted by doctors and lost loved ones to doctors’ negligence shared their medical horror stories today and pressed the California Medical Board to adopt a new Patient Bill of Rights and ensure future patients are protected.

Tue, 04/03/2018 - 15:55

Los Angeles, CA – The nonprofit patient advocacy group Consumer Watchdog called on state regulators to immediately suspend the license of a Salinas doctor being prosecuted by the Monterey County District Attorney’s office for sexually assaulting a patient.

Tue, 02/06/2018 - 13:19

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.

Wed, 01/24/2018 - 10:15

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. 

Sat, 01/20/2018 - 10:20

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

Mon, 07/17/2017 - 16:07

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

Wed, 06/28/2017 - 15:51

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.

Wed, 03/01/2017 - 14:09

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.

Wed, 11/26/2014 - 00:00

SANTA MONICA, CA: The California Supreme Court said today it will review the constitutionality of the state’s arbitrary 39-year-old damages cap of $250,000 in medical malpractice cases in Hughes v. Pham. Last week, Consumer Watchdog wrote an amicus letter asking the Court to review Hughes and overturn this decades-old injustice.

Thu, 11/20/2014 - 00:00

SANTA MONICA, CA: Consumer Watchdog has joined the plaintiffs in Hughes v. Pham in asking that the California Supreme Court review the constitutionality of the state’s arbitrary 39-year-old damages cap of $250,000 in medical malpractice cases.

Wed, 09/03/2014 - 00:00

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Today Senator Barbara Boxer stood with mothers who lost their children to medical negligence in calling on California voters to support for the patient safety protections in Proposition 46. The campaign supporting Prop 46 also released an ad featuring Barbara Boxer.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 00:00

Santa Monica, CA – Californians should have the same right as Floridians to equal protection under the law in cases of medical negligence, said Consumer Watchdog Campaign today after the Florida Supreme Court ruled the state’s cap on medical negligence damages is unconstitutional.  Signatures will be turned in beginning next week for a ballot measure that would increase protections for harmed California patients by