CAOC vows to continue fight for patient safety

Defeat of Prop 46 does not mark end of efforts to halt epidemic of preventable medical errors that claim up to 40,00 patients each year

SACRAMENTO (Nov. 4, 2014) –With the defeat of Proposition 46, leaders of Consumer Attorneys of California vowed to continue the fight to improve patient safety and halt the epidemic of preventable medical errors that claim up to 40,00 Americans each year.

“We waged this campaign for all the right reasons – to protect the innocent and to save lives,” said John Feder, Consumer Attorneys of California president. “To the detriment of public safety, the insurance industry opened the bank vault for a No-on-46 campaign that smothered the truth and confused the voters. We are proud to have stood by patients in the battle, just as we do in the courtroom. This was about doing the right thing for all citizens by ensuring our health care system is effective, sober and accountable.”

The outcome of the election was disappointing but not surprising, given that the medical-insurance complex spent $60 million against Prop 46, outspending CAOC and its consumer-protection allies by more than 7 to 1. The campaign brought much more attention to the issue of patient safety and made Californians aware that preventable medical error is now the third leading cause of death in the U.S.

“Even newspaper editorial boards that opposed Prop 46 acknowledged that the outdated cap on compensation for victims of medical harm needs to be brought into the 21st Century and that the life of a child is worth more than $250,00,” said Brian Kabateck, CAOC’s 2013 president and head of the Prop 46 campaign committee. “If the few corporations that spent big to fight us think this is over, they don’t understand the resolve of the coalition of malpractice survivors, patient safety activists, consumer advocates and plaintiffs’ attorneys behind Prop 46. We will never retreat and we will never surrender.”

Added Feder: “We grieve for Bob Pack and the many others we have come to know whose lives have been turned upside down by medical harm, dangerous doctors and unmonitored doctor-shoppers. Their pain strengthens our resolve to continue the battle so that other innocent victims of preventable medical errors will be able to receive justice.”

Consumer Attorneys of California is an organization representing consumers seeking accountability in cases involving personal injury, product liability and other causes.

For more information:

J.G. Preston, CAOC Press Secretary, 916-669-7126, jgpreston@caoc.org

Eric Bailey, CAOC Communications Director, 916-669-7122, ebailey@caoc.org

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