December 12, 2014

MICRA opinion filing Monday

On Monday morning, the Supreme Court will file its opinion in Rashidi v. Moser, which was argued on the October calendar.  In Rashidi, the court will answer this question:  If a jury awards the plaintiff in a medical malpractice action non-economic damages against a healthcare provider defendant, does Civil Code section 3333.2 entitle that defendant to a setoff based on the amount of a pretrial settlement entered into by another healthcare provider that is attributable to non-economic losses or does the statutory rule that liability for non-economic damages is several only (not joint and several) bar such a setoff?

Rashidi is perhaps more notable for what is not being decided than what is.  The statute the court will interpret is the part of the 1975 Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA) that limits to $250,000 the recoverable amount of noneconomic damages in healthcare professional negligence cases.  The plaintiffs’ bar doesn’t want the statute interpreted; it wants the statute struck down as unconstitutional, and the plaintiff asked the court to do that in Rashidi.  But the court specifically limited the issue it would decide to the narrower statutory construction question.

The opinion can be viewed Monday starting at 10:00 a.m.

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