For the past 27 years, California has had a cap on pain and suffering type awards in medical liability lawsuits. Texas lawmakers are considering passage of a similar measure to reduce doctors insurance rates, assure patient access to healthcare, and hopefully stem the escalating cost of medical care.
Contrary to Galveston State Rep. Craig Eilands concerns, it has been reported that the California cap has not slowed the march to the courthouse, the punishment of bad practice, or the ability of a youngster, homemaker or senior citizen to recover past and future economic loss.
Instead, reports show the cap has simply curbed excessive court awards.
A teenager who is graduated from high school and will never work again due to medical negligence can collect up to $857,149 in lost future earnings alone.
The economic award nearly doubles for a college graduate.
A 35-year-old homemaker, incapacitated due to a medical error, could collect $402,433 in past and future economic damages.
Additionally, these same individuals would be eligible for payment of medical bills, long-term care, in-home assistance, prejudgment interest and punitive damages, and an award of pain and suffering. Only the pain and suffering portion of a claim would be capped.
All other compensatory damages for medical negligence would be unlimited.
Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse