During a routine hysterectomy, Annette’s surgeon unknowingly sliced her bowel. Diligent post-operative care would have revealed this problem, but for over 36 hours medical providers failed to report her abnormal vital signs. An infection spread throughout her body, causing her to go into septic shock. Failure to diagnose her condition led to the amputation of her arms and legs.
Almost 45 years ago, in 1975, politicians set a cap on the damages that patients like Annette could receive for all she had lost due to medical negligence - her ability to walk, work, move freely and be with her family as she once was – at $250,000. That limit for loss of a patient’s quality of life still stands today - exactly as it was written back then. It has never been adjusted – not even for inflation. At first Annette's family couldn’t believe it was true, but then they realized that the maximum amount their family could recover for the entire ordeal was determined by politicians four and a half decades ago.
The Fairness for Injured Patients Act (FIPA), a proposed ballot measure for the November 2020 ballot, would adjust the 45-year old cap and create exceptions in the case of catastrophic injuries like Annette's.