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Legislature raises awards for malpractice lawsuits in California

The California legislature agrees to raise damages caps for the first time in 47 years by increasing how much money people can win in medical malpractice lawsuits.

In medical malpractice lawsuits filed since 1975, Californians have been able to win a maximum of $250,000 in pain and suffering awards. This cap will increase to $350,000 for people injured and $500,000 for people whose relatives died on Jan. 1.

The limit only applies to things that can’t be calculated, like pain and suffering. There is no limit on types of damages that can be counted, like medical expenses and lost wages.

California is one of 33 states that limits how much money people can win in medical malpractice lawsuits, according to an analysis last year by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

The state Assembly voted 60-0 on Thursday to send the bill to Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, who has said he will sign it into law.

13 May 2022


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