Malpractice cap prevents victim lawsuits

Published: Friday, Jan. 10, 2014 - 10:10 am

Re “Jahi's fight for life turns political” (Forum, Dan Morain, Jan. 5): What Dan Morain fails to note is that the Jahi McMath case is the exception, in that her family was even able to retain an attorney. For most children's families, the $250,000 cap and the cost of a trial make a lawsuit economically unfeasible, regardless its merit. Like us, most learn the hard way, when no attorney can even accept their cases. So the 1975 Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act, or MICRA, cap effectively bars many victims access to the justice system. Eighty-two percent of doctors have never had a medical malpractice payment. Since 1991, 6 percent of doctors have been responsible for 58 percent of all malpractice payments. Victims of those doctors deserve a remedy that California's regulatory boards frequently do not provide. Not every instance of malpractice ends in death. Pain and suffering are real, and money can, indeed, provide some measure of relief - and much-needed justice.

-- Connie McLennan, Rocklin

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