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California considering raising malpractice cap; would Ohio?

Earlier this week we discussed how a Florida court ruling helps restore patients' rights after they suffer injuries from medical malpractice. We pondered whether America has finally reached the high-water mark for tort reform, after realizing that it's wrong to blame medical malpractice lawsuits for exorbitant health care costs.

Proposed legislation in California may support the idea that American patients will slowly have their legal rights restored over the next decade.

California's medical malpractice damage cap has been at $250,000 for more than 35 years, but a bill would raise that cap to approximately $1.1 million.

The proposed legislation has a lot of other legal aspects to it, heightening the challenge for its widespread support, even for lawmakers that wish to see an increased malpractice cap.

Regardless of whether it passes, the bill symbolizes a mindset change in the legislature, which has decimated the rights of medical malpractice victims since the 70s. Much of the nation - but certainly not all - follows California's lead and addresses progressive issues, so there is a real possibility that Ohio will raise some of its stringent lawsuit damage caps in the next several years.

Ohio should welcome the prospect, because injured patients often find themselves grossly undercompensated after medical mistakes harm them.

Source: CBS Los Angeles, "Controversy Surrounds Proposal That Would Increase Malpractice Damage Cap," March 21, 2014

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