DECISION 2014: California Voters Defeat Attempt To Raise Medical Malpractice Cap

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — California voters have defeated a proposal that would have raised the state’s cap on medical malpractice damage awards to over a million dollars, up from $250,000.

Physician and insurance groups spent tens of millions of dollars into the opposition campaign which was largely supported by trial lawyers. The fight for votes was the most expensive campaign in the state this year and produced a barrage of negative ads.

The initiative attracted national attention, in part because it called for making California the first state to impose random drug and alcohol tests on doctors.

But the reason the contest lured more than $60 million in donations was its proposal to lift the cap on damages for pain and suffering caused by doctor negligence to $1.1 million, up from $250,000.

Bob Pack, the author of Proposition 46 who lost his two children Troy and Alana due to medical negligence, said in a statement, “This was a battle worth fighting. But the battle doesn’t stop here.”

“Our coalition will continue to press for changes to end that cycle of preventable death, to put a dent in prescription drug abuse, ensure our doctors aren’t operating under the influence and give malpractice victims a better shot at justice.”

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

(Copyright 2014, KRON 4, All rights reserved.)

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