Proposition 46 overwhelmingly rejected by California voters


California voters rejected Proposition 46 – the initiative that would have raised the cap on pain and suffering damages in medical malpractice lawsuits from $250,000 to $1.1 million – by a more than two-to-one margin on Tuesday, as undecided voters broke heavily in favor of the no side. In Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties, the voting results mirrored the state totals.

The complexity of the measure, which combined a mandatory drug testing of doctors and restrictions on prescribing narcotics with the rise in the cap, may have contributed to the defeat.

“There were too many things going on at once,” Kevin O’Keefe, 47, a structural engineer in Half Moon Bay who voted “no,” said.

Proposition 46 also fell victim to massive negative advertising financed by insurance companies and doctors who contributed over $56 million to assure the measure’s defeat.

Bob Pack, the Sunnyvale resident who co-sponsored the measure after his two preteen children were killed by a drug-impaired driver, said: “We’ve brought awareness to a high level and raised the bar on these issues, and hopefully at some point in time there’ll be solutions.”

(Homepage image courtesy of Phalinn Ooi on Flickr via Creative Commons.)