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Walton Barber, LLP
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Survivor Raises Awareness of Hospital-Acquired Infections, California Malpractice Laws

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Alicia Cole entered a Los Angeles area hospital to have fibroids removed, a relatively simple procedure. What was supposed to be a one-day stay in the hospital, turned into a five-month fight for survival after she acquired a hosptial-born necrotizing fasciitis, the flesh-eating bacteria.

Like thousands of other patients in American hospitals, Ms. Cole became a victim of the saddest of all ironies. It was the hospital that made her sick, not the other way around.

After recovering, she decided to take action and raise awareness about this growing epidemic (since hospitals are not required to disclose infection rates). In her compelling YouTube video, Ms. Cole tells not only her own story of survival, but puts a human face on another injustice faced by California victims of medical malpractice, the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act of 1975.

MICRA, as the law is known, creates a number of hurdles victims of malpractice must face to get their day in court, then arbitrarily limits the amount they can recover. Few Californians are aware of this onerous law, which virtually removes from the hands of juries the ability to render justice in legitimate malpractice cases, and unfairly victimizes children who are injured by malpractice. Kudos to Ms. Cole for having the courage to stand up and call for reform of the MICRA laws.

For more facts about MICRA, and compelling stories of injustice, visit the Consumer Attorneys of California information page.

For more information on this subject, please refer to the section on Medical Malpractice and Negligent Care.