SACRAMENTO — In the wake of blows delivered this legislative season by doctors and insurers, trial lawyers are scrambling to resuscitate one critically ill measure on their ambitious 1999 legislative agenda.

AB 1380 was supposed to have dramatically raised the $250,000 cap on pain-and-suffering damages first imposed under the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act of 1975 — removing a long-festering thorn in the side of the plaintiffs bar.