MICRA: Sarinanan v. Ledesma* (Court of Appeal, Second District, Division 2, B284452)
This case arises out of a medical malpractice action where the plaintiff alleges that defendants, which include physician assistants and their supervising physicians, negligently provided care to a minor resulting in her death. Specifically, at issue is whether the provision of MICRA which limits the plaintiff's noneconomic damages to $250,000 apply in this case. Plaintiffs argue that since the physician assistants were not properly supervised, they were acting outside the scope of services they were licensed to provide and thus fall outside of the purview of MICRA.
CMA, along with the AMA and other amici, filed an amicus brief in support of the defendants arguing that the failure to meet the requirement that physician assistants be properly supervised by physicians should not render MICRA inapplicable. The brief argues that such an interpretation would mean that any violation of regulations governing health care professionals would potentially render MICRA inapplicable and runs counter to the Supreme Court's precedent to liberally construe the statutory provisions, contravenes the Legislature's clearly articulated intent in adopting MICRA, and undermines the public policy underlying MICRA. This case is fully briefed, was argued on December 18, 2019, and is currently pending before the California Court of Appeal.