In what is expected to be one of the most watched contests in the upcoming election cycle, California’s debate over medical malpractice caps is gathering steam. With vocal backers on both sides, the decision which will be made by voters in November is expected to inform future debates over medical malpractice caps in other states. Passage of the ballot initiative, known as Proposition 46, could encourage other states to rethink their approach to non-economic medical malpractice caps as well.
The debate hinges on the state’s cap on non-economic damages in cases of medical malpractice. The cap is currently set at $250,000, a figure which has not changed since 1975. The ballot initiative seeks to increase this number to $1.1 million, and tie it to inflation so that it may increase along with inflation in the future. The state has no limit on economic damages.
In addition to the increase in the state’s medical malpractice cap, Proposition 46 also "would require hospitals to randomly test doctors for drugs and alcohol and would mandate that physicians use a statewide database before prescribing certain drugs such as painkillers, in an effort to curb prescription drug abuse."
Keep up with us on our blog for more information on the medical malpractice cap debate in California as it progresses.