Lieff Cabraser Civil Justice Blog

Why California Proposition 46 Is Important To You And Your Family

Why California Proposition 46 is Important to You and Your Family

At Lieff Cabraser, we believe a person injured through the fault of another should be entitled to go to court and hold accountable those responsible for their injuries. We recognize that a court case cannot bring back a lost loved one or restore full health to a person permanently injured. However, a court judgment or a case settlement can provide vitally important monetary compensation as well as a sense of justice.

Why California Proposition 46 Is Important

This is why I ask you to join with us this November in supporting California Proposition 46 with your vote.

In July 2014, the U.S. Senate heard testimony that the number of U.S. deaths resulting from medical error may be over 400,000 per year, making preventable hospital errors the third leading cause of death in our nation. And the cost to society of these medical errors is enormous, estimated to exceed $750 billion annually.

Why are these errors occurring? A large percentage are the result of physician malpractice. Nearly one in five doctors surveyed report they observed at least one other doctor on the job who was impaired by alcohol or drugs or was incompetent within the preceding three years.

Yet the medical profession does not police itself, and the death toll from medical errors is shockingly high. As noted by the editors of Scientific American this week in calling for mandatory random drug testing of physicians, “Expecting health care professionals to police themselves has not worked.”

This November, we have the opportunity to enact Proposition 46. It will reduce the likelihood that you, your children, or other loved ones will be the victim of medical malpractice and help save lives. Proposition 46 makes four significant changes to California law:

  • Mandates random drug and alcohol testing of doctors modeled after federal guidelines for the testing of airline pilots;
  • If a patient is injured or dies because of a medical error, the hospital must test all doctors involved in the patient’s care in the previous 24 hours;
  • Requires physicians to log onto the state’s existing prescription drug database prior to prescribing addictive drugs and other controlled substances to a new patient to ensure the patient is not “doctor shopping;” and
  • Allows injured patients to hold negligent physicians accountable by adjusting the $250,000 cap on damages adopted by California in 1975 for pain and suffering in medical malpractice cases to account for inflation over the past 39 years.

You can learn more about Proposition 46 at

Thank you for reading our message and voting in the November election.