August 13, 2013 |
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 28, 1998 |
Felipe Ortega Sotelo alleges that the treatment he received at a county hospital left him partially paralyzed, partially blind and unable to speak. Sandra Lee Williams says that after a surgical procedure at a county hospital she could not walk well enough to return to work, while Robert Christman alleges that his care left him with spinal problems, no motor strength from his chest down and total incontinence.
March 1, 1985 |
The California Supreme Court upheld Thursday the last remaining sections challenged as unconstitutional in the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act of 1976, approving 4 to 3 a $250,000 limit on damages for pain and suffering and allowing deduction of a victim's insurance payments from damages awarded in court.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 18, 1995 |
A Superior Court judge on Friday agreed to allow former patients involved in the UC Irvine fertility clinic scandal to allege in their lawsuits that they were victims of theft, which might allow them to collect more money if they win. The lawsuits against the university and three former fertility specialists allege that eggs and embryos were stolen and that some were implanted in women without the donors' permission.
August 24, 1995 |
From the moment China Leonard met Dr. Joseph Verbrugge Jr., she didn't like him. They were in a pre-op room at Denver's St. Joseph Hospital, where China's son Richard, 8, was being prepared for minor ear surgery. It was 7:15 a.m. on July 8, 1993. Verbrugge, the scheduled anesthesiologist, had rushed in late, acting bristly and abrupt. "Well, are you nervous?" Verbrugge demanded of Richard. Richard didn't look up from the television. He'd been uncommonly subdued all morning.
January 17, 2003 |
President Bush called on Congress on Thursday to impose stringent restrictions on medical malpractice lawsuits as a step toward curtailing escalating health-care costs, a key goal in his domestic agenda. "Excessive jury awards will continue to drive up insurance costs, will put good doctors out of business or run them out of your community," Bush told health-care professionals and administrators at the University of Scranton.
July 10, 2003 |
Senate Democrats succeeded Wednesday in blocking a bill that would have limited jury awards to medical malpractice victims, but in the process they handed Republicans an issue ripe for next year's election campaigns. Republicans had taken their malpractice reform bill directly to the Senate floor, even though they knew it would fail to get the 60 votes necessary to cut off debate and force a vote on the bill itself.
October 3, 1991 |
Willie Harris, once a strong, able-bodied serviceman with plans to play professional basketball, testified Wednesday that Air Force doctors wrecked his knees--along with his career plans--by administering repeated injections of cortisone.
September 18, 2009 |
The White House rolled out a modest program Thursday examining ways to discourage frivolous medical malpractice lawsuits, but what was meant as a bipartisan overture was quickly denounced by Republicans and business and consumer groups as an empty gesture. The Obama administration said that it would offer $25 million in grants to identify practices that would reduce medical errors, scale back malpractice insurance premiums and spare doctors from nuisance litigation. Traditionally, Democrats have opposed changes in malpractice law, protecting the interests of trial lawyers who are a major source of fundraising support.