RAND Experts Available to Discuss Implications of Proposed Changes to California's Malpractice Laws

October 6, 2014

In November, California voters will consider Proposition 46, a ballot initiative that would modify the state's cap on noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases and enact safety measures related to physician drug abuse and medical prescribing. The current cap, set at $250,000 under the 1975 Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act, or MICRA, would be raised to approximately $1.1 million.

Researchers from the RAND Corporation are available to discuss the implications of the ballot initiative, which is likely to serve as a bellweather for other states. RAND is a nonpartisan, nonprofit research organization that has produced objective research on MICRA. More information about these studies is available at http://www.rand.org/jie/projects/micra-ballot-initiative.html

Some of the topics RAND researchers can address include:

  • Will passage of Prop. 46 alter the number of physicians who are willing to work in California?
  • Will physicians' insurance costs rise if Prop. 46 passes?
  • Will it be easier for injured people to find attorneys to represent them if Prop. 46 passes?
  • How might increasing the state's damage cap affect the amount of compensation awarded following an injury?

Steven Garber is a senior economist at RAND, and is an expert in health care technology, market regulation, and the economics of mass torts. He is the lead author of “Do Non-Economic Damages Caps and Attorney Fee Limits Reduce Access to Justice for Victims of Medical Negligence?

Michael Greenberg is a senior behavioral scientist at the RAND and director of the RAND Center for Corporate Ethics and Governance. He is an expert on civil law, courts and medical malpractice. He is the lead author of “Is Better Patient Safety Associated with Less Malpractice Activity?” and coauthor of “Do Non-Economic Damages Caps and Attorney Fee Limits Reduce Access to Justice for Victims of Medical Negligence?

Eric Helland is a RAND economist. He is an expert in the fields of civil law and medical malpractice. He is the coauthor of “The Impact of Liability on the Physician Labor Market.”

Nicholas M. Pace is a RAND social scientist. He is an expert in the fields of class actions, mass torts, medical malpractice, electronic discovery, courts, juries, and verdicts. He is the lead author of “Capping Non-Economic Awards in Medical Malpractice Trials: California Jury Verdicts Under MICRA.”

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