In this case, Rashidi v. Moser, M.D., the jury awarded the plaintiff $125,000 in economic damages and $1,325,000 in non-economic damages. After trial, the judge reduced the non-economic damages portion of the award to $250,000, in accordance with MICRA. The plaintiff appealed, but the court rejected their arguments, relying on the California Supreme Court rule that MICRA’s $250,000 cap “on the recovery of non-economic damages is rationally related to the objective of reducing the costs of medical malpractice litigation and in that way restraining the costs of medical malpractice insurance premiums.” The court also held that MICRA’s non-economic damages cap is to be applied before offsets from pre-trial settlement proceeds, which in this case the plaintiff reached pretrial settlements totaling $2,350,000 with the hospital and medical device manufacturer, an amount significantly higher than the total amount of damages found by the jury at the later trial.

The California Medical Association, along with the California Dental Association, the California Hospital Association and the American Medical Association, filed an amicus brief in this case with the California Court of Appeal defending the constitutionality of MICRA. This case is just the latest in many legal challenges to MICRA that have been funded by trial lawyer groups from across the country.

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