KGET NBC TV-17 Bakersfield, CA: May Proclaimed Latina Maternal Health Awareness Month

Column: Everyone Wins In Compromise To Increase Malpractice Payouts — Especially Victims

Column by George Skelton, LOS ANGELES TIMES

May 9, 2022

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-05-09/skelton-malpractice…

SACRAMENTO — It’s being called the Sacramento equivalent of the Berlin Wall falling. Or a Middle East peace pact.

Long-warring enemies have suddenly negotiated a historic compromise over how much money medical malpractice victims can be awarded for pain and suffering.

Sacramento Reaches MICRA Deal

By Victoria Colliver, POLITICO PRO

April 27, 2022

California’s nearly 50-year-old medical malpractice compensation limits may soon be increased as part of a deal announced Wednesday that could end a decadeslong fight that’s pitted doctors and insurance companies against patients and families seeking justice in the courtroom for wrongful injuries or deaths.

Patients Embrace Legislative Deal to Update Malpractice Cap, Forestall Ballot Fight on Fairness for Injured Patients Act in November

Los Angeles, CA - The California families harmed by medical negligence who launched the Patients for Fairness coalition (http://www.patientsforfairness.org) responded favorably to news of a potential legislative deal to raise the 47 year old cap on medical malpractice damages. The families said the legislation would eliminate the need for the Fairness for Injured Patients Act to go before voters in November 2022.

California’s Malpractice Payouts Would Rise Under A Deal To Avoid A Costly Ballot Fight

By Melody Gutierrez, LOS ANGELES TIMES

April 27, 2022

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-04-27/california-malpract…

SACRAMENTO — Cash payments in California medical malpractice cases would go up for the first time in nearly five decades under a deal between rival interest groups announced Wednesday that avoids a costly battle at the ballot box in November. 

Assembly Committee Approves Medical Board Public Member Majority Legislation

Los Angeles, CA – Assemblymember Bill Quirk and the California State Assembly Committee on Business and Professions took an unprecedented step today to restore the public’s trust in their medical board by voting to support a public board member majority. AB 2060 (Quirk) was voted out of committee today and will be heard next in Assembly Appropriations committee.  This bill will make California the first state in the country to require its medical board to be led by a majority of public board members.

KNX 1070 AM Los Angeles, CA: Victims of Medical Malpractice Need More Rights In California, Say Advocates

By Craig Fiegner, KNX 1070 AM Los Angeles, CA

February 24, 2022

Click here to listen to the audio of this radio broadcast segment.

Carmen Balber with Consumer Watchdog says victims of medical malpractice need an independent Medical Board in California, not controlled by doctors as it currently stands.

Consumer Watchdog Calls On Lawmakers to Enact Patient Bill of Rights to Reform Medical Board, Doctor Accountability in California

Los Angeles, CA – Consumer Watchdog called on legislative leaders to enact a Patient Bill of Rights to reform physician oversight and accountability in California. The nonprofit consumer advocacy organization said reform proposals recently floated by the Medical Board of California are good start, but “do not go far enough to prioritize the problems patients, not the Board’s regulators, suffer because of California’s failed systems of physician oversight.”

Insurance Companies Put Up Lion’s Share of $43 Million Raised by the Medical Insurance Complex to Oppose Fairness for Injured Patients Act

Los Angeles, CA – Insurance companies who profit by denying fair compensation to patients injured or killed by medical malpractice have put up $27.8 million to oppose the Fairness for Injured Patients Act. Insurance money accounts for two-thirds of the $43.8 million raised to oppose the Fairness Act, a measure that seeks to restore accountability for injured patients on the November 2022 California ballot.  

Bakersfield Doctor With Repeat Offenses Surrenders License To Practice

By Ishani Desai, The BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN

December 18, 2021

https://californianewstimes.com/bakersfield-doctor-with-repeat-offenses…

A local mother said Friday her deceased pregnant daughter was denied justice when the Medical Board of California decided to forgo an administrative hearing for a Bakersfield doctor accused of negligence in her death and agreed to let him surrender his license.

Medical Board of California Allows Bakersfield Doctor To Surrender His License and Avoid License Revocation Hearing Into Young Mother’s Death

Bakersfield, CA – The Medical Board of California has allowed a 25-year repeat offender doctor to surrender his license on a technicality and not face charges before an administrative law judge in an accusation based on the death of a local mother.  
 

Former Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner Endorses Fairness for Injured Patients Act; Calls for Legislative Compromise

Sacramento, CA  -- Steve Poizner, former Insurance Commissioner of California, endorsed the Fairness for Injured Patients Act to update California’s cap on quality of life and survivor damages for patients harmed by medical negligence.

Doctor Opposed To Fairness Act Calls Compensation for Permanent Disability and Death “Very Nebulous”; Families Call For Enactment

Los Angeles, CA – Two parents of children injured by medical negligence called out a doctor opposing the Fairness For Injured Patients Act because they were “deeply offended” by his “comment that compensation for death or lifelong harm is capped under California’s nearly 50 year old law because such losses are ‘very nebulous.’”

Scott Olsen and Tammy Smick wrote Dr. Mark Alson that his comment, “misstates the law and is disrespectful of families across the state and the hardships they face because of the cap.”  

Whistleblower Or Flamethrower? California Medical Board Member Calls Out His Colleagues

By Melody Gutierrez, LOS ANGELES TIMES

November 17, 2021

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2021-11-17/california-medical-…

SACRAMENTO — The pleas for help find him. They arrive by email or seep into his social media account. One showed up in a tightly sealed letter to his home. After years of feeling ignored by the Medical Board of California, the writers hope he’ll finally be the one who hears them.

Families Fighting For Fairness Act Say Medical Board Failure As Outlined by Whistleblower Makes Case For Ballot Measure To Change 1975 Medical Negligence Law

Los Angeles, CA -- Families of injured patients whose medical negligence cases have been disregarded by the California medical board today voiced their support for the public member of the board who is blowing the whistle on the board’s failure to protect patients, as outlined in today’s LA Times report. 
 

Coalition Forms To Champion Medical Negligence Cap Initiative

By Andrew Sheeler, SACRAMENTO BEE - CAPITOL ALERT

November 11, 2021

https://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article25…

In 2022, California voters will decide whether to raise the $250,000 cap on payouts in medical negligence lawsuit payouts, indexing it for inflation and empowering judges and juries to decide compensation in cases involving catastrophic injury or death.

Coalition of Medical Negligence Survivors Launches New Storytelling Website, PatientsForFairness.org, Backs Patient Safety Initiative On California Ballot One Year From Today

Los Angeles, CA -- A coalition of patients and families harmed by medical negligence launched a new website today – www.PatientsForFairness.org – one year before Election Day 2022 when Californians will vote on a ballot measure to restore the rights of medical negligence victims. 
 

Consumer Watchdog Debuts Digital Ofrenda (Altar) for Dia de los Muertos Celebrating the Lives of Californians Lost to Medical Negligence

Los Angeles, CA – Consumer Watchdog is debuting a digital ofrenda (altar) celebrating the lives of Californians who died due to medical negligence today and tomorrow in recognition of Dia de los Muertos.  Advocate families that span across California recorded videos sharing a glimpse into the lives of their lost loved ones.  New videos and family photos personalized by family members will be shared on Consumer Watchdog’s social media platforms every half hour on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Families of Injured Patients Call for Medical Board and Medical Negligence Cap Reform

Sacramento, CA – Today’s CBS This Morning special investigation makes a damning case for reform of physician oversight and legal accountability in California.  The segment documents how the influence of the doctors’ lobby on lawmakers and on the Medical Board of California allows bad doctors to continue practicing and causing patient harm. As whistleblower member of the Medical Board, TJ Watkins, told CBS: “No question that it costs patient lives.” 
 

“Never Events” Documentary Makes Streaming Debut This Week Showcasing Lives Destroyed by Unjust Medical Negligence Cap and Medical Harm

Los Angeles, CA – The must-see documentary “Never Events,” that follows the journey of multiple families who fought for change after suffering lifelong harm or loss due to medical negligence, debuts this week on Amazon, Apple TV and other streaming services. The documentary exposes the trauma caused by medical negligence, the third leading cause of death in America, and California’s cap on compensation for patients who are harmed that prevents them from getting justice or accountability for their loss. 



Families Harmed By Medical Negligence To Testify Doctor-Run Medical Board Is Not Protecting the Public from Harm, Call for Public Member-Majority Board

Sacramento, CA – Consumer Watchdog and a dozen Fairness for Injured Patients campaign advocates who were harmed by medical negligence and failed by the Medical Board of California will call on the legislature to turn control of the doctor-run Board over to the public, in testimony on Friday.  

They will support recommendations before the Legislature’s sunset review committee to add two public members to the board, which has 8 doctor members and just 7 public seats, 2 of which are currently vacant.

History of Positions Undermining Patient Safety Disqualify Former Leaders of Doctors’ Lobby For Seats on CA Medical Board, Patients Harmed by Medical Negligence to Testify

Sacramento, CA – Two former leaders of the California Medical Association should be rejected as nominees to the Medical Board of California for their records opposing common sense patient safety reforms, Consumer Watchdog will testify at their confirmation hearing today.

The Senate Rules Committee hearing begins at 1:30PM and can be viewed on Senate TV at: https://www.senate.ca.gov/

“I Can’t Breathe” Said Black Manteca Man Killed by Medical Negligence at Kaiser Hospital

Manteca, CA – The family of Shawn Washington, a 29-year-old Black man killed by medical negligence at Kaiser Manteca Medical Center, called on the Medical Board of California and the California Department of Public Health to hold his medical providers, and the hospital where he died, accountable. His family has joined patients across the state to support the Fairness for Injured Patients Act, a 2022 ballot measure to ensure equal justice for families harmed by medical negligence.

New Website & Interactive Map Tells the Stories of Medical Negligence Victims Denied Justice Representing Every CA State Senate District on World Patient Safety Day

Los Angeles, CA - As California courts and voters confront the injustice of the state’s 45-year-old limits on the rights of medical negligence victims, Consumer Watchdog celebrates World Patient Safety Day on Sept. 17th with the launch of a new website featuring video, photos and an interactive map to tell the stories of injured patients who are fighting for change. They are the force behind the Fairness for Patients Act on the November 2022 California ballot.

Survivors of Medical Negligence Qualify Ballot Initiative for 2022 Election

Los Angeles, CA — Having collected 900,000 signatures and raised over $4 million, the survivors of medical negligence behind a California ballot measure to adjust California’s 45-year-old cap on quality of life and survivor damages announced today that the Secretary of State has certified the initiative for the November 2022 ballot.
 

California Battle On Malpractice Caps Delayed To 2022 Ballot

By Staff Writers, ASSOCIATED PRESS

April 30, 2020

https://www.thehour.com/news/article/California-battle-on-malpractice-c…

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Fallout from the coronavirus pandemic has delayed by two years what likely would have been one of the most expensive California ballot battles leading up to this November's election, initiative supporters said Thursday.

633,000 Signatures For Russ Kussman and Steven Olsen

We have now collected more than 633,000 signatures for the Fairness For Injured Patients Act -- which will adjust the 1975 cap on compensation for injured patients.

We expect to finish collecting signatures at the end of March to qualify the ballot initiative for the November California ballot.

I want to share with you two events this weekend that brought home for me the imperative of this effort.

Consumer Watchdog Campaign: Supporters of the Fairness for Injured Patients Initiative Announce 307,000 Signatures Collected

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. The group also notified the Secretary of State that they have passed the 25% signature threshold, triggering a requirement that the Legislature hold a public hearing about the measure.

CA’s $250,000 Compensation Cap Set in 1975 is Most Regressive in America

20 states plus Washington, DC have no cap on noneconomic damages.

      - These include progressive states such as New York, Washington, and Connecticut as well as conservative states like Alabama, Wyoming, and Kentucky.

California is 1 of just 3 states with a cap as low as $250,000 with no exceptions. $250,000 is the lowest cap in the country. (Montana and Texas are the other two)

In just 2019, 3 states either overturned their caps or adjusted them for inflation.

Medical Negligence Survivors Launch Nov 2020 Ballot Measure Signature Drive For Proposal To Raise 1975 Compensation Cap That Was Never Adjusted

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 adjusted.   

Juries are not told of the cap and injured patients cannot receive more than $250,000 for their quality of life and wrongful-death survivor damages, no matter how serious the injury or severe the medical negligence.