An initiative that would revamp California’s 45-year-old Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA) has been put on hold because of COVID-19. Backers of the initiative, which would increase the medical malpractice compensation cap and undermine other provider protections, have collected nearly 1 million signatures for the November 2020 ballot, but have decided to push the issue until November 2022.
Proponents want to adjust for inflation the maximum $250,000 compensation cap, which was set by the California Legislature and then-Gov. Jerry Brown in 1975. The measure would initially raise the cap to $1.2 million for people injured as a result “non-economic” damages — or pain and suffering — from catastrophic injury or death, and then adjust it annually.