Listen: Aired On Saturday, January 18, 3 AM, On Consumer Watchdog Podcast.
"Thanks for joining us this week. On the rage for Justice Report I'm Jamie the court. This is consumer watchdog's podcast. I'm here with executive director of consumer watchdog Carmen Barbara. I'm the president of consumer watchdog Jamie Court and we did a big milestone Charleston. Didn't we carmen this week. What was that milestone the big milestone this week and happy Friday? Everyone is that the fairness for injured patients act our ballot measure to update. Update the nineteen seventy-five law that cap compensation for victims of medical negligence. Studies never once been changed in forty five years hit a huge signature gathering milestone allstone. We announced yesterday that we've collected over three hundred seven thousand signatures of the required six hundred twenty three thousand to make the ballot in November. Two Thousand Twenty so a huge victory signature gathering is going really well. It's really remarkable. We're getting We thought we'd get fifty thousand signatures a week because it's only been a month been five weeks lakes and We've we're getting sixty sixty five thousand signatures a week. We are the lowest paying petition on the street. Were paying for these signatures. That's what you have to do in this world but We are going to probably if there's key things keep going this. Well turn in a month before we actually have to. And it's it's I think it's a testament to the power of the issue issue. You know a month ago a little bit more than a month ago. We were at Frank Fat's restaurant in Sacramento. which is the location where there was a deal written on the back of a Napkin? That locked in this nineteen seventy five compensation cap. It was the last word on it for the next many decades and it was set by special interest groups that was set by the legislature in a backroom deal in nineteen seventy five and after the court declared the cap constitutional. They went to this restaurant. Frank Frank Fat's the trial lawyers insurance companies. The doctors lobby the medical malpractice insurance and there are also some tobacco companies there and they basically said we want peace. We don't want war. They cut a deal on the back of the NAPKIN. Nineteen eighty seven that locked in everything. That hasn't changed since only thing is the increase. Some attorneys Contingency fee rates. which you know? It's good because consumers can get attorneys but it's bad because they should have increased the cap cap set in nineteen seventy five at two hundred and fifty thousand dollars in. It would be worth seven one one point two million dollars today or the reverse. which is that two hundred and fifty thousand dollars in one thousand nine hundred? Seventy five dollars is only worth about fifty thousand dollars for families today so imagine minimum wage which was two dollars and ten cents an hour in one thousand nine hundred. Seventy five being your compensation today just doesn't cut it in it. Means families are locked out of the courtroom. And that's what we were talking about it frank fats to the need to finally update this outdated law. That closes the courtroom door for so many families choose deal literally written on the back of a Napkin has the Napkin from Nineteen eighty-seven hang on the wall of the restaurant. So he held are launched there for the signature gathering we brought patients who are the proponents of the initiative patients who've You know faced Either not be able to get an attorney. Because of the cap where they actually saw their Verdicts reduced what happens. Happens is a jury isn't told about the cap they will go in and award to seven million dollars for instance in the case of one of the proponents on was too blind brain damaged because he couldn't couldn't get a simple test when he had a major head injury facial- facial injury and it would have detected brain mass and the side of the trial. Got The simple tests in the emergency room in the age of HMO medicine in in Andy's he'd be fine today so the jury said seven million kids never gonNA see. He's got cerebral palsy. You'll never live alone. That's what is quality of life is worth. That's what his pain and suffering thing is worth. That is what his blindness is. Disability worth in the jury left the room. Guess what the judge had reduced the award and his his his father. Scott Olsen Stevenson's father other is on our board of consumer watchdog and Steven is His picture hangs on the wall. He is one of these in one of the sweetest families. Nicest families in the world for something like this happened to in a few years ago. This was twenty eight years old now. Even the mom died. Kathy died Then she was on board as well and Scott had to quit his job to take care of Stephen. She had already ready quit her job. So that's seven million to come in handy. And here's what Scott had to say at Frank Fats About the whole about."