Consumer Groups Seek to Raise Cap on California Medical Malpractice Damages

Consumer advocate groups in California announced this week that they have collected enough signatures for an initiative to be placed on the November ballot to increase the state's cap on medical malpractice damage awards from $250,000 to $1.1 million.

The group Consumer Watchdog, based out of Santa Monica, along with several other consumer advocate groups, gathered 840,000 signatures - much more than the 505,000 required under California law to place an initiative on the ballot.

In addition to raising the malpractice damages cap, the initiative also includes a requirement that doctors undergo random drug testing in an effort to curb prescription medication abuse among medical professionals.

The current $250,000 cap on damages for medical malpractice claims was set over 20 years ago.