Proposition 46 (on November's ballot in California) is not about "greedy trial lawyers."
Here's what it will do in a nutshell: (1) it will require hospitals to conduct random drug and alcohol testing of doctors, who are twice as likely as the general public to abuse or be addicted to these substances; (2) it will require doctors to consult the existing CURES data base before prescribing certain narcotic medications to patients to ensure that they are not "doctor shopping" for drugs - this is important because more people die from prescription drug overdoses today than from heroin, cocaine and amphetamines combined; and (3) it will raise the 40-year old $250,000 cap on damages in medical malpractice cases to account for inflation, to about $1.1 million.
Will I make more money handling my med mal cases if Prop. 46 passes? Yes, I will.
But there are caps on my fees (that will not change) which means that 75-85% of the increase will go to my clients. Currently a young couple who loses a child to a preventable medical error, might recover $100,000 for their loss. If Prop. 46 passes, that same couple will be able to recover about $750,000. They will pay only about 22% in attorneys' fees.
I am not a greedy trial lawyer. If I wanted to make a lot of money, I would have gone to work for the insurance industry or corporate America a long time ago. I do what I do to help people and the people I work for are grateful to have legal representation.
The cap has meant many, many fewer lawsuits, which has made California medical malpractice insurance companies the most profitable line of insurance in the state. They are, quite literally, awash in cash. That's why they are prepared to spend $45,000,000 to try to defeat Prop. 46. If they are successful, most patients injured (even severely) by, or who die because of, preventable medical errors will be unable to hold health care professionals accountable. The courtroom door will be shut tight to them.
According to our insurance commissioner, Dave Jones, Proposition 46 will not increase malpractice premiums for doctors. Doctors are not going to leave the state. Your health care costs will not go through the roof. The only horrible thing that will happen if Prop. 46 passes is that the three major medical malpractice insurance companies in California will have to pay out more to injured patients and, thus, will make less money.
Please vote "yes" on Proposition 46 and pass along the truth about it to your friends and family. This is a David and Goliath fight, but fighting for patient safety and access to justice are worthy goals! If you agree, please "share" this post with your friends, family and the public!