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Civil Liability Damages


California’s runaway damages awards are a big contributor to its hostile legal climate. Every year, California policymakers propose further expansions of non-economic damages like punitive and pain and suffering damages and creation of new statutory damages under a variety of laws. Count on CJAC to fight aggressively to oppose these proposals.


CJAC Urges CA Supreme Court to Uphold Med-Mal Damages Cap

CJAC Liability Reform Insider (March 2021) – On March 1, CJAC filed an amicus brief with the California Supreme Court in Marisol Lopez v. Glenn Ledesma, M.D., et al., S262487.
In this case, at bench trial the plaintiff won $11,200 for economic damages and $4.25 million in non-economic damages in her medical malpractice action for the death of her four-year-old daughter. The court then reduced the non-economic damage award to $250,000 pursuant to MICRA.


CJAC Win: Non-Economic Damages Apportionment

CJAC Liability Reform Insider (March 2021) – In a major victory on the side of fair apportionment of non-economic damages, the Second Appellate District Court issued a unanimous, unpublished decision on March 25 in Putt v. CBS Corporation (Ford Motor Co.), which reversed the jury’s apportionment of 100% of fault to Ford for plaintiff’s injury.

CJAC originally filed an amici brief, joined by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce,  in the case on January 6.

In the opinion, the court remanded for a new trial on the issues of:


Pain and Suffering Damages Expansion Bill Passed By Senate

CJAC Liability Reform Insider (May 3, 2021) – SB 447 (Laird), which will dramatically expand pain and suffering damages, was passed by the Senate last week and is headed to the Assembly.
SB 447 seeks to change existing California law to allow pain and suffering damages in survival actions. Existing law prevents such recovery but allows punitive and economic damages. The bill is a massive expansion of damages and could affect all industries subject to personal injury actions in California.

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