In the past forty years, things in America have changed dramatically over time. Consumer prices, technology, and even our foods have undergone dramatic shifts as the years have passed, but the cap on medical malpractice awards has not increased by a cent.
In the 1970's, the $250,000 limit on pain-and-suffering awards was set and has never been indexed to inflation. Efforts to raise the amount and hold medical professionals accountable for their actions have been started by the Troy and Alana Pack Patient Safety Act (Pack Act), an initiative that has gathered support from professionals, celebrities, and politicians like Senator Barbara Boxer of California.
A grand total of 844,000 signatures were acquired in favor for placing the Act on November's ballot for California voters. If passed, the $250,000 cap on awards will be raised to $1.1 million. Senator Boxer expressed her support of the Act with a story of meeting a disabled young boy in a wheelchair (as the result of medical malpractice) and being stunned by the unfairness of California's MICRA cap.
This is not a veiled effort of citizens to make a profit off of doctors' honest mistakes, nor of plaintiff attorneys trying to make more money off of victimized Californians. "I am proud to support the Troy and Alana Pack Patient Safety Act, which will reform our judicial system to hold accountable those responsible for so much pain and suffering and ensure that patients and their families get the justice they deserve," said Boxer in a public statement. Victims and their families are entitled to justice after a negligent medical professional has put their life at risk or, even worse, killed one of their loved ones. What do you think?
Will you be voting to raise the cap on medical malpractice claims come this November? Please share your story with us within a comment below.