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The State

December 18, 1985

Backers of an initiative to change California's "deep-pocket" liability law said they have gathered about 660,000 signatures, nearly 230,000 more than needed to qualify the measure for the June ballot. The initiative is aimed at the state's "joint and several liability" doctrine that makes a party found to be partially responsible for an injury liable for all of the damages if the party primarily responsible is uninsured and insolvent. The initiative would retain the doctrine for damages such as medical costs and lost wages, but it would assess damages, such as pain and suffering, on the degree of fault. Thus, a city found 10% responsible for an accident could be ordered to pay all of the medical costs but only 10% of the pain and suffering award. The California Trial Lawyers Assn. opposes the measure.

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