Tuesday, Aug 1, 2017
MICRA provision upheld by courts
A recent court ruling has upheld a provision of the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA) that protects dentists and other health care providers from frivolous lawsuits. The decision is consistent with other court rulings that have struck down challenges to MICRA, which ensures injured patients receive fair compensation and stabilizes liability costs.
California’s 1st District Court of Appeal held that MICRA’s $250,000 cap on noneconomic damage awards is not unconstitutional, striking down a challenge by a plaintiff who sued her physician for malpractice and claimed the cap violated her constitutional rights to equal protection, due process and trial by jury.
CDA and a coalition of health care providers filed an amicus (“friends of the court”) brief last year that supported the constitutionality of MICRA’s noneconomic damages cap. Since MICRA became law in 1975, the courts have upheld provisions that have come under attack by trial attorneys in various lawsuits.
Last year, CDA, TDIC and a broad coalition of organizations led an effort to defeat Proposition 46, a trial attorney-backed initiative that would have raised the non-economic damages cap, resulting in increased health care costs and reduced access to care. CDA and TDIC will continue to work with coalition partners to preserve MICRA and defeat challenges brought on by trial attorneys.