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Medical Malpractice

January 25, 1999
The Medical Board of California licenses physicians and other medical professionals. It also investigates medical complaints and issues disciplinary actions. The most serious penalties include license revocation, suspension and probation. These are the Los Angeles County physicians and surgeons subject to serious disciplinary actions between Aug. 1 and Oct. 31, 1998, according to medical board documents. Generally, final actions are published only after all appeals are exhausted. Dr.
April 7, 2014 | By Jack Leonard and Ani Ucar
A former patient at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center accused the hospital of negligence in a lawsuit filed Monday in which she said she was sexually assaulted last year by a certified nursing assistant after she underwent surgery. The woman alleged in the suit that the hospital failed to adequately respond to complaints of sexual assaults involving the same employee dating back more than a decade. In addition, the patient said Cedars-Sinai never interviewed her or made any effort to investigate after she reported the assault to the hospital June 13. Her lawsuit said she made several attempts to speak to someone at Cedars-Sinai before being told that the employee had been fired and that she could report the matter to police if she wanted further action taken.
July 27, 2002
Re "Medical Disciplinary Actions," July 23: I would hope that the overwhelming majority of practicing doctors who daily and unstintingly provide health care to those in need would be as disappointed as this citizen with the "slap 'em on the wrist" disciplinary measures taken by the Medical Board of California. To so lightly treat these malpractitioners is in itself a form of malpractice. Come on, docs, put those scalpels to work and excise the rotten apples! Douglas A. Brown Glendale
April 2, 2014 | By Victoria Kim
After Maria de Jesus Arroyo was pronounced dead of cardiac arrest in the summer of 2010, her husband and children said their goodbyes and left her in the hands of hospital staff. When they saw her next at the funeral, her nose was broken and she had gashes and bruises on her face - injuries too severe to be covered up, despite the morticians' best efforts. The outraged family sued the hospital, White Memorial Medical Center in Boyle Heights, believing the hospital had mishandled the 80-year-old woman's body.
January 28, 2011 | By David G. Savage, Washington Bureau
President Obama took both Republicans and normally supportive patients' rights advocates by surprise this week when he voiced support for a national limit on medical malpractice lawsuits. "I'm willing to look at other ideas to bring down costs" besides repealing his healthcare overhaul, Obama said in his State of the Union address, including "medical malpractice reform to rein in frivolous lawsuits. " The president's words breathed new life into the often discussed but never enacted Republican initiative.
October 10, 2009 | Alexander C. Hart
Medical malpractice reform is unlikely to cut healthcare spending significantly, the Congressional Budget Office reported Friday. Enacting a cap on pain-and-suffering and punitive damages, changing liability laws and tightening the statute of limitations on malpractice claims would lower total healthcare spending by about one-half of 1% each year -- $11 billion at the current level -- according to an estimate by the nonpartisan agency. The figure is far lower than previous estimates by groups backing malpractice reform.
August 8, 2002 | From Times Wire Reports
NEVADA * Gov. Kenny Guinn signed Nevada's medical malpractice insurance reform bill into law, hoping to end a health-care crisis that forced the state's top trauma center to temporarily close. The law, which takes effect Oct. 1, caps most medical malpractice jury awards at $350,000. Some insurance companies had stopped doing business in Nevada, citing the high cost of settling malpractice claims.
March 24, 2014 | By Melanie Mason
SACRAMENTO -- Proponents of a measure to raise the cap on some medical malpractice damages submitted signatures Monday afternoon to qualify for the November ballot, paving the way for a costly initiative fight. The measure would change a 1975 California law that has limited pain and suffering damages in malpractice cases to $250,000. The law "has been a true hardship for victims and their surviving families," Bob Pack, an Internet executive from Danville, said at a news conference Monday morning.
March 5, 2014 | George Skelton, Capitol Journal
You'd think this would be a simple problem to fix: The unfair low limits on pain and suffering awards in California medical malpractice suits. But few things of genuine importance are simple in California's innately pugnacious Capitol. There's greed, ill will, stubbornness, hubris, vindictiveness, indifference ( doesn't affect me ), cowardice - all the human traits that politicians bring to Sacramento from the citizenry they represent. And too often these characteristics aren't tempered with people's counter-attributes of fairness, compromise and common sense.
February 24, 2014 | By Melanie Mason
SACRAMENTO--Seeking to avert a costly initiative battle, state Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) has introduced a bill to serve as a vehicle for a legislative compromise on California's medical malpractice law.  The measure is brief: just one sentence stating the Legislature's intention to "bring interested parties together to develop a legislative solution to issues surrounding medical malpractice injury compensation....
February 18, 2014 | By Melanie Mason
SACRAMENTO - A protracted political battle over California's medical malpractice law may be coming to a new front: the voting booth. For decades, trial lawyers and consumer groups have railed against limits on certain damages in malpractice cases, arguing that such restrictions deny victims fair compensation for grisly medical mistakes. Insurance companies, doctors and other healthcare providers have been equally vigorous in defending the law, saying it is crucial to controlling costs and maintaining the availability of care.
December 10, 2013 | Michael Hiltzik
California initiative campaigns have a way of reducing all important public policy issues to their lowest intellectual denominators -- and highest financial numerators. The coming battle over the state's medical malpractice limits looks certain to set records in both categories. We've written before about the necessity of modernizing MICRA , the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act of 1975. Even its drafter acknowledges that it was botched at birth; because its limit of $250,000 on pain-and-suffering recoveries isn't indexed to inflation, it serves merely to shut the courthouse door to the victims of medical malpractice.
September 22, 2013
Re "When less medicine is more," Opinion, Sept. 18 We can save some of the $700 billion a year that Dr. Glenn D. Braunstein says is spent on ineffective care by reforming medical malpractice. Much of the reason doctors run too many tests is to practice defensive medicine. No-fault systems like workers' compensation would greatly reduce healthcare costs and protect consumers. Courts should be involved only when gross negligence is a possible cause. Braunstein also discusses unnecessarily long hospital stays.
August 13, 2013 | By Nora Freeman Engstrom and Robert L. Rabin
For decades, advocates of tort reform have pushed to limit the amount that courts can award for noneconomic damages such as pain and suffering. The California Legislature first capped this type of damages in medical malpractice lawsuits in 1975, and roughly half the states have followed California's lead. This summer, however, nearly 40 years after California's Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act first limited noneconomic damages in malpractice cases to $250,000, trial lawyers and consumer groups have unveiled a ballot initiative that would relax the cap considerably.
July 25, 2013
Consumer activists and lawyers want an initiative on next year's ballot that would increase the maximum amount of damages people could seek in lawsuits over medical malpractice causing pain and suffering. The state has had the same $250,000 cap since 1975. The initiative, which needs enough signatures to qualify for the ballot, would raise that to $1.1 million -- essentially adjusting the cap for four decades of inflation. There would also be annual adjustments. George Skelton says in his Thursday column that it's a fairly simply idea.
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