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PROTECTING THE CAP

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That's when she learned about the state's Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act, signed into law in 1975 by Gov. Jerry Brown. The law did a number of things, including standardizing rates for plaintiff's lawyer and installing a $250,000 cap on "noneconomic damages," which has been unchanged since.

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"We wanted answers. We wanted full disclosure so that lessons could be learned. We were convinced things had been missed and to this day, five years later, not one lesson has been learned because it has been swept under the rug," said Hitchcock Glover, who has joined a coalition of consumer advocates, Prada Wallets For Women

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The California Medical Association is spearheading hundreds of groups, which have spent years fighting efforts to raise the cap. They say it would increase malpractice insurance costs and accelerate the rising costs of health care, threaten community clinics and other providers operating on tight margins, and decrease access to care.

"There was something else going on, which was never investigated," Hitchcock Glover said. "Throughout the day, in hindsight, it was obvious that he was on a perpetual, progressive trail of what medical professionals who have reviewed his chart tell us was a classic case of hypovolemic shock."

In a hallway, 18 hours after surgery, Glover collapsed. He died after eight hours on life support. An oncology nurse, Hitchcock Glover showed her son's chart to prominent Bay Area pediatricians and doctor friends.

But Hitchcock Glover said her son's appendix was relatively normal. What wasn't normal was the 2 liters of fluid a surgeon withdrew from his abdominal cavity, or what happened in the post operative recovery room.

Three of the eight donors The Doctors Co., Medical Insurance Exchange and NORCAL Mutual Insurance Co. are insurance groups that recently agreed to across the board malpractice premium cuts after California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones found they were charging excessive rates.

"We are not litigious people. I can't stand anyone choosing to go that route. I fought it for the longest time," Hitchcock Glover said.

unborn twins to a drugged driver who turned out to be a doctor shopping pill popper and the group Consumer Watchdog are pushing a ballot initiative to raise the cap, winning approval last week to circulate petitions for a possible 2015 measure.

But during the day, Glover was forced off his bike by a bad stomach ache and vomiting. A Yosemite clinic doctor recommended he go to a nearby hospital in Modesto, where doctors performed an emergency appendectomy.

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Phinney believes raising MICRA's cap would increase the cost of malpractice insurance rates, saying California enjoys far lower rates than other state without a cap. A 2007 National Institutes of Health review of studies found several showing a correlation between caps and lower premiums, but other studies have suggested caps actually lead to increased damage awards.

The industry is gearing up for a major fight. Last month, physicians, hospital and insurance groups dumped $31.5 million into a political action committee, Patients and Providers to Protect Access and Contain Health Costs, to combat the initiative.

California's cap now counts among a handful of other states as the lowest in the country: Texas, Wisconsin, Florida all set the bar higher. Other states that passed caps during the mid 1970s malpractice rate crisis, such as New Hampshire, have long since raised them.

They also say the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act is not keeping legitimate claims out of court. MICRA, as it is known, did not cap awards for medical costs or lost wages or, in the rare event they are awarded, punitive damages. And California Medical Association President Dr. Paul Phinney, a Sacramento pediatrician, said overall Prada Nylon Tote Bag Price malpractice awards have increased annually, outpacing the rate of inflation.

someone demeaning or minimizing the value of a life, and the value of our health care system, by not investigating the wrongs that go on over and over and over," Hitchcock Glover said. "I don't find it offensive that someone thinks my son's life is only worth $250,000. I find it offensive that people these insurance companies have prevented these things from being disclosed."

"The trial attorneys would like us to focus on the noneconomic cap, but that's really misleading," Phinney said.

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local mom wants legal changes

The boy couldn't urinate. His stomach was distended. His heart rate was up. An oxygen monitor went haywire, only to be replaced by another, which also went off and was removed. Coming off a long shift, the doctor appears to have never consulted a pediatrician, or ordered further tests, Hitchcock Glover said, even though she and her husband prodded nurses to call her at home.

Driven largely by powerful trial lawyers, there have been unsuccessful efforts to change the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act. A Danville father, Bob Pack who lost two children and Prada Iphone Cover

Sarah Hitchcock Glover wants to know more about what events led to this emptiness swallowing her life. She wants to ask questions and be met by more than silence. But due to a decades old $250,000 cap on medical damage awards which California voters may weigh in on she could not get anyone to follow through on her case. So the Santa Cruz Mountains resident is trying to get the law changed.

Rowling's popular series. Glover died in 2008 at the age of 12, and his family hopes it leads to changes in a state medical liability cap. (Contributed)Adam Glover, her only child, exists now only in photographs that she carries in a beige folder. He is reading a Harry Potter book. He is posing with the family dog. He is a 12 year old on a father son Yosemite rock climbing trip, smiling a few days before dying inexplicably at a Modesto hospital.

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But they couldn't get anyone from the hospital to talk to them. Wanting answers, she began looking for lawyers.

patients' rights groups and plaintiff's lawyers called 38 is Too Late.

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It was springtime in Yosemite, when snow still covers the high peaks and wildflowers carpet the valley floor. It is a good time for hiking, rock climbing and biking, and in those pictures, Glover, wearing a tie dye T shirt and sweats, looks on top of the world.

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Critics of the law say that minimized the value of cases involving people with no source of income the elderly, children and stay at home parents. With medical cases expensive to prosecute, they say the 38 year old cap now acts as a barrier to justice, with victims unable to convince lawyers to risk their own money on experts, subpoenas and evidence without the chance for a bigger award.

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