Proposed Ballot Initiative Targets California’s Lawsuit Caps

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – A proposed California ballot initiative would let patients get more money in medical malpractice lawsuits.

Scott Olsen and Bree and Nelson Moreno filed the Fairness for Injured Patients Act on Thursday. Both are parents of disabled children. The proposal still must garner enough signatures to qualify for the November 2020 ballot.

California law caps noneconomic damages for medical malpractice lawsuits at $250,000. The cap has been in place since 1975. The proposal would tie the cap to inflation, which would raise it to more than $1.2 million.

A similar proposal failed to pass in 2014. It was opposed by the medical groups, who argued the higher awards would increase the cost of health care for everyone.

Trial lawyers Nick and Courtney Rowley will lead a fundraising effort for the initiative.