Click here to close now.

SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Eva Belanyiova, tru welu, Blue Box Blog, Kevin Jackson, Peter Silva

News Feed Item

Fla. Supreme Court Rules Medical Malpractice Damage Cap Unconstitutional, says Consumer Watchdog Campaign

California Voters Will Have Next Chance To Restore Patients' Rights At Ballot In November

SANTA MONICA, Calif., March 13, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Californians should have the same right as Floridians to equal protection under the law in cases of medical negligence, said Consumer Watchdog Campaign today after the Florida Supreme Court ruled the state's cap on medical negligence damages is unconstitutional.  Signatures will be turned in beginning next week for a ballot measure that would increase protections for harmed California patients by indexing the state's 38-year-old damage cap for inflation.

"It's outrageous that a driver harmed in an auto accident in California has more rights than a patient killed by a negligent doctor. The Florida Supreme Court has recognized this and so should California's legislature. If the legislature fails to act in the next 12 days, the voters will have the chance to restore those rights," said Carmen Balber, executive director of Consumer Watchdog Campaign.

Next week, Bob Pack will begin turning in over 830,000 signatures to qualify the Troy and Alana Pack Patient Safety Act for this November's ballot. Pack lost his two young children, Troy and Alana, to a drugged driver who was overprescribed narcotics by multiple doctors at the same Kaiser hospital.

The Troy and Alana Pack Patient Safety Act would:

  • Index for inflation the medical negligence damage cap set by the legislature in California in 1975
  • Require random drug and alcohol testing of doctors, and testing after an adverse event in a hospital
  • Require physicians to report suspected drug or alcohol abuse at work by a colleague
  • Mandate that physicians check the state's prescription drug database before prescribing narcotics and other addictive drugs to first-time patients

An opinion piece in the New York Times today about a doctor addicted to prescription drugs who infected patients with Hepatitis C after injecting himself with their painkiller syringes argued that doctors should be randomly drug tested.

The Florida Supreme Court ruling came in a case involving a woman who died after severe blood loss during childbirth. The Court found that a 2003 law limiting damages in wrongful death medical negligence cases violates the Equal Protection Clause in Florida's constitution. Article 1, Section 7(a) of California's constitution guarantees "equal protection of the laws."

In its decision, the Court wrote: "At the present time, the cap on noneconomic damages serves no other purpose other than to arbitrarily punish the most grievously injured or their surviving family members.

"Moreover, it has never been demonstrated that there was a proper predicate for imposing the burden of supporting the Florida legislative scheme upon the shoulder of the person and families who have been most severely injured and died as a result of medical negligence.

"Health care policy that relies upon discrimination against Florida families is not rational or reasonable when it attempts to utilize caps to create unreasonable classifications."

The Court also wrote that there was no evidence substantiating the purported medical malpractice crisis used by the Florida legislature to justify enacting the cap.

Wrote the Court: "The Florida Legislature attempted to justify the cap on noneconomic damages by claiming that 'Florida is in the midst of a medical malpractice insurance crisis of unprecedented magnitude.'"

It continued: "Our consideration of the factors and circumstances involved demonstrates that the conclusions reached by the Florida Legislature as to the existence of a medical malpractice crisis are not fully supported by available data. Instead, the alleged interest of health care being unavailable is completely undermined by authoritative government reports. Those government reports have indicated that the numbers of physicians in both metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas have increased."

Medical malpractice insurance companies and the physician lobby make the same unsubstantiated claims about the damage cap protecting patients' access to health care in California, said Balber.

Learn more about the Troy and Alana Pack Patient Safety Act ballot measure at www.PackAct.org

SOURCE Consumer Watchdog Campaign

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
Akana, a leading provider of API Management, API Security and Cloud Integration solutions, announced that it is introducing DevOps automation to the API lifecycle. New capabilities in Akana's API Management platform significantly reduce the time required to update API definitions and versions. DevOps teams will be able to work faster in designing and developing APIs, as well as managing them at runtime and publishing them to a portal.
The multi-trillion economic opportunity around the "Internet of Things" (IoT) is emerging as the hottest topic for investors in 2015. As we connect the physical world with information technology, data from actions, processes and the environment can increase sales, improve efficiencies, automate daily activities and minimize risk. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ed Maguire, Senior Analyst at CLSA Americas, will describe what is new and different about IoT, explore financial, technological and re...
"Cloud consumption is something we envision at Solgenia. That is trying to let the cloud spread to the user as a consumption, as utility computing. We want to allow the people to just pay for what they use, not a subscription model," explained Ermanno Bonifazi, CEO & Founder of Solgenia, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"At our booth we are showing how to provide trust in the Internet of Things. Trust is where everything starts to become secure and trustworthy. Now with the scaling of the Internet of Things it becomes an interesting question – I've heard numbers from 200 billion devices next year up to a trillion in the next 10 to 15 years," explained Johannes Lintzen, Vice President of Sales at Utimaco, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in San...
SYS-CON Events announced today that the "First Containers & Microservices Conference" will take place June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City. The “Second Containers & Microservices Conference” will take place November 3-5, 2015, at Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA. Containers and microservices have become topics of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities.
"Our premise is Docker is not enough. That's not a bad thing - we actually love Docker. At ActiveState all our products are based on open source technology and Docker is an up-and-coming piece of open source technology," explained Bart Copeland, President & CEO of ActiveState Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
ThingsExpo New York is offering a limited time FREE "Expo Plus" registration option in New York. On site registration price of $1,95 will be set to 'free' for delegates who register during special offer. To take advantage of this opportunity, attendees can use the coupon code, and secure their registration to attend all keynotes, ThingsExpo sessions, expo floor, and SYS-CON.tv power panels. Special FREE registration givess access to all DevOps, Containers and Microservices sessions as well. Regi...
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it!
"For the past 4 years we have been working mainly to export. For the last 3 or 4 years the main market was Russia. In the past year we have been working to expand our footprint in Europe and the United States," explained Andris Gailitis, CEO of DEAC, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The 5th International DevOps Summit, co-located with 17th International Cloud Expo – being held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the...
"At Harbinger we do products as well as services. Our services are with helping companies move their products to the cloud operating systems. Some of the challenges we have seen as far as cloud adoption goes are in the cloud security space," noted Shrikant Pattathil, Executive Vice President at Harbinger Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The 17th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. 17th International Cloud Expo, to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, APM, APIs, Microservices, Security, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding bu...
The 4th International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 17th International Cloud Expo - to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - announces that its Call for Papers is open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
SYS-CON Events announced today that SUSE, a pioneer in open source software, will exhibit at SYS-CON's DevOps Summit 2015 New York, which will take place June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. SUSE provides reliable, interoperable Linux, cloud infrastructure and storage solutions that give enterprises greater control and flexibility. More than 20 years of engineering excellence, exceptional service and an unrivaled partner ecosystem power the products and support that help ...
"Ulunsoft is a start-up that focuses on how enterprises build cloud-based IT infrastructure for business," explained Haibo Zhu, President of Ulunsoft Corp, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.