Oregon News

Oregon medical malpractice caps do not pass

By barely a percentage point, Oregon voters voted against a constitutional amendment to cap noneconomic damages in Oregon medical malpractice cases. Just more than 50.5 percent voted against the Oregon caps, showing the divided rift between supporters and opponents of tort reform.

Measure 35 would have limited Oregon medical malpractice awards plaintiffs could collect in punitive damages when winning a suit to $500,000. Supporters of the medical malpractice cap spent about $6 million and opponents spent about $2 million. Charlie Burr, campaign manager for the Coalition for Real Insurance Reform, opposed Measure 35 and said the vote for and against may not have been as close as the polls indicated. According to Burr, the more even split could have been because of the money poured into rural areas that those opposed to the measure did not spend.

The Oregon Medical Association has pledged to continue its drive to limit malpractice awards.

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