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ADJUSTS LIMITATIONS IN MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE CASES. INITIATIVE STATUTE.
Summary Date: 12/02/19
Final Random Sample: 07/21/20 (PDF)
Signatures Required: 623,212
Proponent(s): Scott Olsen, Nelson A. Moreno, Bree Lynn Moreno
In medical negligence cases, adjusts for inflation: (1) $250,000 limit established in 1975 on quality-of-life and survivor damages (which include pain and suffering); and (2) contingent attorney’s fees limits established in 1987. In cases involving death or permanent injury, allows judge or jury to exceed these limits and requires judge to award attorney’s fees. Requires attorneys filing medical negligence cases to certify reasonable basis for claims or good-faith attempt to obtain medical opinion; attorneys who file meritless lawsuits must pay defendant’s expenses. Extends deadlines for filing medical negligence lawsuits. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local governments: Increased state and local government health care costs predominantly from raising or removing the cap on noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases, likely ranging from the low tens of millions of dollars to the high hundreds of millions of dollars annually. (19-0018.)
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