Patients would retain the right to sue despite health-care agreements that say otherwise under legislation that passed the state Senate on Tuesday.
The proposed law, SB 458, aims to prevent health-care providers from forcing patients into arbitration as a condition of enrollment in a medical plan.
The bill by Sen. Martha Escutia, D-Montebello, passed the Senate on a 21-14 vote and now goes to the Assembly.
Sponsored by the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, the legislation received support from groups representing consumers, seniors and trial lawyers. Business and insurance groups opposed the measure.