Fairness for Patients Act - CA Ballot Proposition

ICYMI – New York Times: Maternal Deaths Rose During the First Year of the Pandemic, Especially for Black Women

Fairness for Injured Patients Act, on November 2022 Ballot, Will Allow California Voters to Overturn Unfair Medical Negligence Cap Set In 1975

This week, the New York Times published an article on the increase of Black maternal deaths featuring Charles Johnson, Chair of the Fairness for Injured Patients Act on the November 2022 California ballot, who was driven to fight for justice and safer Black maternal health care after the preventable loss of his wife in childbirth.


According to the New York Times:


“The number of women in the United States who died during pregnancy or shortly after giving birth increased sharply during the first year of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new study, an increase that health officials attribute partly to Covid and pandemic-related disruptions.


The new report, from the National Center for Health Statistics, found that the number of maternal deaths rose 14 percent, to 861 in 2020 from 754 in 2019.”


“Black women in America experienced the most deaths: One-third of the pregnant women and new mothers who died in 2020 were Black, though Black Americans make up just over 13 percent of the population. Their mortality rate was nearly three times that of white women.”


“Black Americans overall suffered disproportionately from the pandemic, with higher hospitalization and death rates than their white counterparts, but the racial disparities in maternal mortality predate and extend beyond Covid, and stem from structural health inequities that have complex root causes.”



Read the full article here.


Also, a recent report from the California Department of Public Health on Maternal Mortality finds significant racial disparities in pregnancy-related mortality, particularly among Black women.


Women of color are more likely to experience medical negligence, regardless of socioeconomic status, because systemic inequities in our health care system subject people of color to lower quality health care.


California’s nearly 50-year-old cap on compensation for patients harmed and killed by medical negligence, MICRA, disproportionately impacts communities of color, keeping people of color out of the courts and denying them justice. Because of MICRA’s limit on noneconomic damages imposed by the California Legislature in 1975, a life is valued at no more than $250,000.


In addition to a cap set in 1975, a recent Los Angeles Times investigation reveals that the California Medical Board has not been protecting patients who are victims of medical negligence — for nearly 5 decades.


The Fairness for Injured Patients Act will finally adjust the $250,000 cap set in 1975, to keep pace with inflation. Juries will finally be informed about the existence of a cap. It gives the power back to judges and jurors who will be able to decide if compensation above the cap is fair in cases of catastrophic injury or death.


For more information about the Fairness for Injured Patients Act go to fairnessact.com.


Charles Johnson Jr. is available for interviews, contact nicolette@swansoncomm.net.