Opinion: California ‘Tort Wars’ Heat Up with Ballot Measures Focusing on Private Personal injury Circumstances

Car crashes can usually direct to personal injuries lawsuits. File picture courtesy San Diego County District Attorney’s place of work

One particular of the Capitol’s most enduring conflicts pits private injury lawyers and their allies in shopper advocacy teams in opposition to corporate interests and their insurers.

The two factions clash incessantly above what situations are deemed wrongful functions (torts), who can sue about those functions and what monetary damages can be awarded.

Dubbed “tort wars,” the conflict has raged for decades in the Legislature, in the courts and often by way of ballot measures, every single side depicting by itself as the fantastic guys and the other as rapaciously evil. Hundreds of thousands of pounds are spent every single year on lobbyists, media strategists, political campaign advisors and other applications of the political trade.

The intensity of the war varies from year to 12 months, and 2022 is shaping up as just one its hotter intervals as the factions propose dueling ballot actions. One particular would properly undo a 1975 legislation that limits damages for “pain and suffering” in clinical malpractice situations, while another would area a new restrict on the charges that individual harm attorneys can declare.

That 1975 regulation, entitled the Healthcare Injuries Payment Reform Act (MICRA) and signed by Jerry Brown all through his initial year as governor, limitations non-economic damages for malpractice to $250,000. Its passage was not only a big acquire for health care vendors and their insurers but the opening salvo of the war.

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