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California Limits Application of Medical Liability Damage Cap

The Supreme Court of California has held that in medical professional negligence cases, the noneconomic damages cap applies only to "judgments," or the amount of damages awarded to the plaintiff determined in court but does not apply to settlements.

Under the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act of 1975 (MICRA), recovery of noneconomic damages is capped at $250,000 for professional negligence actions against healthcare providers.

In the case of Rashidi v. Moser (filed 12/15/2014), the California Supreme Court ruled that the noneconomic damages cap does not require an offset of amounts received in settlement. This case comes shortly after California voters rejected a proposition to raise MICRA's cap to $1.1 million.