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Judiciary Committee Approves Bill to Cap Pain and Suffering

News reports that the House Judiciary committee has approved a bill that would limit the amount that victims of medical malpractice could recover in civil lawsuits. Entitled the “Protecting Access to Care Act,” if enacted the bill would limit the amount of recovery for pain and suffering that individuals could recover from nursing homes, hospital, and doctors in medical malpractice lawsuits to $250,000. No limits would restrict recovery for economic and medical expenses.

Similar proposals in many states and the federal government have popped up over the years, and California currently has a similar $250,000 limit on pain and suffering. However, many don’t realize the real impact of caps, and how they deny those injured complete access to justice. Pain and suffering damages are designed to compensate those injured for the intangible and often hard to quantify pain they experience on a day to day basis. For example, what is the value of pain experienced following a botched surgery? What if the error causes you to experience pain walking every day, and limits your ability to get around and enjoy life as you once did - how much is this worth? What if the injury happens to a minor child? How does that affect the calculation? By placing an arbitrary limit on the recovery amount, the power of the jury to decide what is fair and just is compromised.

As California medical malpractice lawyers, we are committed to fighting for those injured by negligent medical care. For more information, or for an initial consultation, please contact the dedicated California injury lawyers at Bostwick & Peterson, LLP.

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