Girardi | Keese

Poll shows California voters back medical malpractice change

Year in and year out, many medical malpractice cases make their way to courtrooms throughout the state of California. While the same holds true with most other states, California may be making a big change in the near future.

A recent poll of 3,500 likely voters showed that 71 percent would vote "yes" to increase the medical malpractice cap that is currently in place.

This online survey was conducted from April 29 to May 8 and paid for by a committee that supports the measure, known as the Troy and Alana Pack Patient Safety Act.

The initiative will be added to election ballots on Nov. 6, meaning that this fight will finally come to an end, to a certain degree, within the next few months. If approved by voters, the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act will no longer place a cap of $250,000 on non-economic damages related to medical malpractice lawsuits.

Robert Pack, the man for which the act is named, recently said, "This issue is about accountability and compensation." The initiative is named after him, as two of his children were killed by a drugged driver who had shopped from one doctor to the next for somebody who would prescribe painkillers.

Along with removing the cap, it would also require doctors to check a database before prescribing narcotics while also submitting to random alcohol and drug testing.

There are a lot of people that are sure to be voting on this initiative come November, and early polls show that the majority are in favor of making the change.

Source: Sacramento Business Journal, "Poll: 71% support medical malpractice measure" Kathy Robertson, May. 19, 2014

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