Sen. Santorum and the hyporcisy of damage caps

I’ve heard so much about the Santorum surge and how he is a man of principle–a values candidate, a different kind of politician.

Senator Santorum has been part of the echo chamber for caps on damages in medical injury lawsuits. He hits all the rhetoric about how caps are necessary because of frivolous lawsuits, rising health care costs, etc. According to Senator Santorum, Congress knows better than a jury the value of all patient injury cases, and no patient should ever recover more than $250,000 in non-economic harms when the defendant is a doctor or a hospital.

Yes, that includes the drunken doctor botching a surgery, sex abusers in the exam room, and hospitals that dump patients on the streets. Never more than $250,000 because Senator Santorum and Congress know better than a jury.

So imagine my surprise when a colleague in New York, Andy Barovick (@AndyBarovick), posted a link on Twitter to a news report about Senator Santorum’s wife’s malpractice claim against her chiropractor in which she sought $500,000 in non-economic harms. For those playing at home, that’s twice the amount of the cap Senator Santorum and Congress want to impose on the rest of us.

Here’s the corrected link to the news report (second video)Well worth watching.

Senator, On the off chance that you or your staff are reading this: Shame on you.

Update 7 Jan 2012: Law blogger, Eric Turkewitz, New York Personal Injury Law Blog, takes a different approach in defense of Senator Santorum here. While he makes a good point that Senator Santorum is not responsible for his wife’s choices, he misses the mark. Senator Santorum participated in the case, testifying as a damages witness. In the linked interview (above), Senator Santorum claims that the verdict included a substantial amount of economic damages that would not be subject to the cap. The news report debunks that excuse and lie. At bottom, Senator Santorum knows from personal experience that the proposed cap is wrong because one size justice does not fit all. We need to trust juries to do what is right and not put in Congress’s hands the ability to determine damages in all cases.

3 thoughts on “Sen. Santorum and the hyporcisy of damage caps

  1. Caps are not effective and will not be as long as doctors protect even the worst among themselves.
    Mr. Sugarman, could you remind your readers of the beautiful young boy who died in 1994 from a misblood type error during heart transplant? Remind them that the same doctor had made the same horrible error two years earlier. Remind your readers that the same doctor is still performing surgery in another state and patients have no means of knowing of these errors due to loopholes and caps.
    And secrecy and protection from the medical community. Yet this child and the misery and continued pain was considered at the time to be worth only $100,00
    Thank you…

  2. Oh Denise, thank you so much for your comment. I have never forgotten that one and never will. It’s hard for me to tell some stories because of rules governing confidences and secrets. As well, I don’t think I am the best messenger–the best stories come from people like you. If you would like to do a guest post, I would be honored to publish it. I hope you are well. Please feel free to call or email if you would like to catch up. Meanwhile–and most important–thank you for continuing to talk about this. David

  3. Santorum is not a U.S. Senator anymore. He was tossed out of office some years back by the voters of Pennsylvania… he is a “wanna – be.” If anyone is interested, there seems to be a more than curious relationship between the “campaign contributions” he received (and receives), the way he voted when he was in the Senate, what his campaign “principles” are now, and the identities of the lobbyists he was working for… [and presumably will be working for again, once he “suspends” his current campaign, as he almost certainly will between now and August, 2012…. ].

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