More than 840,000 signatures from voters qualified a ballot measure to increase caps on pain-and-suffering in medical malpractice cases in California.
The ballot measure – known as the “Troy and Alana Pack Patient Safety Act” – also includes provisions for random drug and alcohol testing of physicians, and mandatory testing of physicians who have made preventable medical errors.
The ballot initiative was launched by Bob Pack, whose two young children were killed in an accident caused by a patient abusing large quantities of prescription narcotics.
The measure aims to cut down on prescription drug abuse by both patients and health-care practitioners, and to curb doctor-shopping behavior by requiring check-ins in a prescription database. The initiative also addresses raising California’s cap on non-economic damages.
California currently has a $250,000 cap on damages for pain-and-suffering. The state was the first to institute a cap on damages in 1975, and the cap has never been raised since then, despite inflation. The ballot measure seeks to raise the caps to $1.1 million.
Opponents to the initiative claim that the measure would result in higher malpractice costs. Over $34 million has already been raised by opponents to defeat the measure.
The act will be on the November 2014 ballot in California.
- Reuters. “Measure to raise medical malpractice cap qualifies for November ballot.” California Healthline. 2014. May 16. Retrieved from: http://www.californiahealthline.org/articles/2014/5/16/measure-to-raise-medical-malpractice-cap-qualifies-for-nov-ballot
- “Initiative to reform Calif. medical malpractice lawsuits qualifies for ballot”vCBS Los Angeles. 2014. May 15. Retrieved from: http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2014/05/16/initiative-to-reform-calif-medical-malpractice-lawsuits-qualifies-for-ballot/
- Sovern, Doug. “Medical malpracticeinitiative led by Danville father qualifies for November ballot.” CBS San Francisco Bay Area. 2014. May 16. Retrieved from: http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2014/05/16/medical-malpractice-initiative-led-by-danville-father-qualifies-for-november-ballot/