San Diego Law Review


Library of Congress Authority File


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This Comment addresses what has been and continues to be a very controversial area of the law-damage caps imposed on plaintiffs who bring medical malpractice claims against health care providers in California. Since 1975, the state has restricted these actions as a means of holding down liability insurance premiums and reducing litigation through a package of statutes called the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA). In 1991, the legislature extended these limitations to claims brought under the state's Elder Abuse Act while at the same time providing for enhanced remedies in such actions to encourage litigation. Today, upon showing clear and convincing evidence of actionable abuse under the statute, plaintiffs may recover attorneys' fees, as well as pain and suffering damages not to exceed $250,000. This Comment will evaluate the specific application of MICRA within the elder abuse context. Although it is necessary to examine the rationale underlying MICRA, the author wishes to leave the call for overall reform of MICRA, a proposition that has been described as equivalent to a "holy war, " to another day and another forum.

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