The California Legislature on Thursday agreed to increase how much money people can win in medical malpractice lawsuits, resolving one of the thorniest disputes in state politics by raising a cap on damages for the first time in 47 years.
Since 1975, the most money that Californians could win for pain and suffering in medical malpractice lawsuits was $250,000. Starting Jan. 1, that cap will increase to $350,000 for people who were injured and $500,000 for the relatives of people who died.
Those amounts will gradually increase over the next decade until they reach $750,000 for injured patients and $1 million for families of deceased patients. After that, the caps will increase 2% every year to keep up with inflation.