In 1976, California enacted ground-breaking reform legislation to cap medical professional liability (MPL) awards. At the time of the legislation, physicians were retiring or leaving the state because of sharp increases in MPL premiums. The reforms were intended to control these costs, most prominently with a cap on noneconomic damages of $250,000. This November, state residents will have the opportunity to significantly increase that cap with a ballot initiative. As a result, insurers are bracing for a spike in MPL claims in California, and other states with similar reform laws could be targeted next.
This article was originally published in the July 2014 issue of Best's Review.
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CA Proposition 46: Undoing tort reform?
An initiative on the ballot this fall in California could have critical implications for tort reform, more than quadrupling the state's landmark cap on noneconomic damages in medical professional liability (MPL) awards.