SACRAMENTO, Calif -

Supporters of raising California's award limit for medical malpractice suits hope to put the issue before voters.
   
The Los Angeles Times reports lawyers and consumer groups are getting signatures for a ballot measure to increase 1975's pain and suffering limit of $250,000.
   
They say limiting certain damages in malpractice cases can deny victims fair compensation for grisly medical mistakes.
   
Insurance companies, doctors and other health care providers say the restrictions help control costs and maintain the availability of care.
   
Opponents of raising the limits have already raised $33 million to fight the proposed measure.
   
The initiative's backers have until March 24 to submit signed petitions to place their proposal on the fall ballot.