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In November 2014, voters rejected Proposition 46 by a substantial margin, maintaining California’s general damage cap of $250,000 in medical negligence cases. Undaunted by the defeat, trial lawyers (Consumer Attorneys of California) are continuing the fight to raise the present damage limits before the Appellate Court, arguing the unconstitutionality of the Act. As has been argued before, why are general damages to victims unlimited in personal injury, product defect and other negligence cases, but limited to $250,000 to victims of medical neglect? Where is the fairness?

Having failed in past attempts to obtain change through both the legislature and ballot measures, perhaps this effort before the Appellate Court will provide some success. Arguments will soon take place before the First District Court of Appeal, and win or lose, likely before the California Supreme Court thereafter. Obviously, Consumer Attorneys are lining up to provide supporting arguments in the current case of Chan v. Curran, but the supporters of MICRA cap are also plentiful, arguing decades of decisions affirming MICRA.

Time will tell. Hopefully sooner or later the California Supreme Court will address the MICRA issue and whether the Act violates a victim’s right to fairness under the law; whether MICRA is constitutional; and whether it lacks a “rational basis” in today’s environment.

Questions on medical negligence, damages and the ongoing battle regarding MICRA can be directed to attorneys at Heiting & Irwin, as well as questions on any issues involving claims for personal injuries and damages.

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