Malpractice cap robs victims of justice

01/21/2014 10:10 AM

01/20/2014 2:34 PM

Re “Lawsuits are bad medicine” (Letters, Jan. 9): We disagree with statements by Kathy Kneer of Planned Parenthood, who says in her letter that passage of the initiative to raise the cap on damages in medical liability lawsuits would affect access to obstetricians and gynocologists. We support the Troy and Alana Pack Patient Safety Act. We lost a 19-month-old child to a catastrophic medical outcome, and we understand the need for bolstered medical industry accountability. Access to the justice system is required for accountability. Today, access is all but eliminated by California’s low malpractice damage limits. California’s 38-year-old cap isn’t the reason medical malpractice premiums have dropped the past two decades. For that, thank Proposition 103’s insurance regulation. Meanwhile, the malpractice insurance industry has a free ride on the backs of 440,000 patients killed annually by preventable medical error, the third leading cause of death in the United States.

-- Wade and Jennifer Westhoff, Danville

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