California’s MICRA Non-Economic Damages Cap: Back to the Ballot?

It is deja vu all over again with a proposed initiative to raise California’s statutory damages cap on non-economic damages (typically pain and suffering) in actions concerning medical malpractice. We saw this last attempted in 2014, but it has been around and around a few times, given that this non-economic damages cap has remained unchanged in MICRA since 1975. The proposal would raise the cap from $250,000 to $1.2 million with further adjustments going forward. The sides have been chosen. This will not be pretty. The 2014 attempt to essentially take the original MICRA cap and index it to inflation failed, so there must be something pretty special about a flat $250,000 cap for it to have withstood the rigors of time and inflation. This could get interesting.

Fire Arms Access Laws

What are sometimes called child-access prevention laws are certainly on everyone’s mind as we consider the story of a troubled fifteen year old’s access to a semi-automatic weapon in a Michigan school. We can look here for an overview of the patchwork of approaches and limitations and observe that Michigan has no laws in this area. Statutory resolve in these areas is no panacea, however, as Karen Bleier has written on how what law enforcement and prosecutors do with the statute matters more than the mere verbiage: very little.

Let’s sit with that for a minute.

Podcast Recommendation: Demented

I’ll start by saying I love the name of this podcast series: Demented. There — right in the title — Kitty Eisle blurted out the taboo word. She developed this podcast series because, for better or worse, she became a parent to her parent. “Kitty’s dad was experiencing cognitive decline, but she felt like she was the one losing her mind.” A must listen.