An exciting, exclusive and informative interview with Paul Kiesel,
Partner, Kiesel, Boucher & Larson LLP, about the serious problems with
the California Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA).
In 1975, the California State Legislature passed MICRA) which placed a cap on damages for medical malpractice claims. According to this Act, an injured plaintiff cannot recover non-economic losses in excess of $250,000. It has been 32 years now since that law was put in place and we now have enough data to show that it does not work. Even though it promised to lower malpractice insurance premiums for doctors, rates rose more than 450% in the first 13 years. It wasn’t until 1988 when Prop 103 (an insurance reform initiative) was voted in that rates for doctors stabilized. With the countless hours of preparation, taking depositions and the cost of medical experts to testify, the $250,000 cap was simply not sufficient funds with which to argue a case for an injured plaintiff. Defending insurance companies can easily outspend capped plaintiffs, who only win these suits one out of every 8 times.
However even in those cases where damages are awarded for ongoing care of a severely injured victim, the amount is reduced by what can be garnered from Social Security, Disability, Medicaid and other public forms of compensation first. MICRA makes the victim hit up the taxpayers first, then makes the insurance carrier pay!
Kiesel, Boucher & Larson LLP is a nationally recognized consumer litigation firm specializing in plaintiff, complex litigation, class action, catastrophic defect, professional malpractice and environmental litigation. Paul Kiesel received his juris doctorate from the Whittier College school of Law in Los Angeles, in 1985. In 2005 he was awarded an
Honorary Doctor of Law from Whittier Law School. His practice is devoted to the representation of consumers in personal injury, class action,environmental and toxic tort litigation. Mr. Kiesel serves as an officer on the Executive Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association Litigation Section. He was appointed by Chief Justice Ronald George to the State of California Judicial Council Civil and Small Claims Advisory Committee. He served on the Board of Governors for the California and Los Angeles Trial Lawyers Associations, now the Consumer Attorneys
Associations of California and Los Angeles.