An initiative to increase pain and suffering damages to $1.1 Million from the current $250,000 has qualified for the November, 2014 ballot. The $250,000 cap has been in place since 1975 and has not been increased or changed to reflect inflation for nearly 40 years.
Proponents of this initiative state that the update to the law will allow victims of medical malpractice access to the justice system. The current damages cap makes it financially impossible for lawyers to take on many malpracttice cases, leaving victims of medical negligence without access to the courts or recourse for their damages.
In addition, the law will require hospitals to radomnly test physicians for drugs and alcohol. Physicans would also face testing after incidents involving preventable medical errors.
Opponents of the measure include doctors and insurance companies who claim that the measure will result in more medical lawsuits and higher payouts that will drive up costs for health care to consumers and taxpayers, and reduce access to healthcare in communities that are already underserved by the medical establishment.
You can expect a heated battle with boths sides spending millions of dollars as the November election day approaches.