Not again. Usually, consumer advocacy in its broadest and most positive context provokes a more agreeable response than I have to this one. A new California ballot initiative has been filed. That means a title and summary accepted by the Attorney General, proponents cleared to start gathering signatures. To leave no doubt as to the subject, the ballot measure is officially titled with this mouthful: “Fairness for Injured Patients Act to Adjust California’s Maximum Compensation Cap of $250,000 Set by Politicians in 1975 on Wrongful Death and Quality of Life Damages That Has Never Been Updated.”

Yep, another in a long series of challenges. The Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act of 1975 to be clear (because this is obscured in the following piece on the initiative) was enacted to provide a cap of $250,000 on pain and suffering awards and other non-economic damages. What proponents usually omit, or admit only grudgingly, MICRA provides unlimited awards for the direct costs of care and treatment. MICRA was designed to control upward spiraling of medical injury liability insurance costs. CPA belongs to Californians Allied for Patient Protection, a coalition devoted to preserving MICRA. Politico also published an insightful piece that features involvement of trial attorneys.

Urge friends, colleagues, neighbors, family NOT to sign this petition. Last attempt at the ballot was Proposition 46 (2014) which did gain sufficient signatures, but was overwhelmingly rejected by voters.

– from Randall Hagar, CPA