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

Medical Board Oversight of California Doctors Remains Broken, Consumer Watchdog Will Testify Today at Legislative Hearing into Board's Future

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.

California Supreme Court To Review Constitutionality of Medical Malpractice Damages Cap

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.

Consumer Watchdog Campaign: Senator Boxer Joins Mothers Who Lost Children To Medical Malpractice To Call For Voters' Support For Prop 46

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.

Consumer Watchdog Campaign: Fla. Supreme Court Rules Medical Malpractice Damage Cap Unconstitutional

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

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