Florida Medical Malpractice Claims are subject to a cap on damages. Republican's, like Rick Santorum favor caps on damages, so long as they do not effect him or his family.
In the ultimate act of hypocrisy, Rick Santorum follows the Republican mantra that he will push to limit payments to victims in medical malpractice lawsuits, which he of course blames for unnecessarily driving up health-care costs. However, what is good for the goose is not necessarily good for the gander. When Rick Santorum's wife, Karen Santorum filed a Medical Malpractice lawsuit, Santorum testified in support of his wife who sought $500,000, twice the cap in his 1994 legislative proposal.
Karen Santorum claimed that David Dolberg, a chiropractor, performed a spinal manipulation, that caused a herniated disk in her spine, which was surgically removed a week later. Santorum claimed she was left with a permanent back injury that would result in a lifetime of pain medication and restricted mobility.
Of course, the Santorums sought to seal the records in the lawsuit against Dolberg and the center where he worked, saying her husband's role as a senator would draw attention to the case and violate his wife's privacy. The court declined to do so.
As reported in The Washington Post, the Santorums both testified to the non-economic losses she and their family suffered. Santorum told the Fairfax County Circuit Court jury that his wife wasn't able to do some of the tasks she enjoyed as a mother. He said the pain made her unable to exercise and stay fit, and now she "does not have the confidence" to help him with public events on his campaigns.
"We have to go out and do a lot of public things," Rick Santorum said. "She wants to look nice, so it's really difficult."
For the ultimate slap in the fact, Rick Santorum told reporters that he thought the $250,000 cap on malpractice awards in his 1994 legislative proposal might be too low, given the injury his wife had suffered.
Like all Medical Malpractice Lawyers, Karen Santorum's attorney, Heather Heidelbaugh, stressed to the jury that her client suffered "severe and permanent neurologic damage" and this trial was "their only opportunity for justice." The jury wouldn't be around, she said, "10 years from now, when she is 49 years old and can't get out of bed . . . can't play with her sons."
The court returned a verdict of $350,000, which was reduced to $175,000.
Santorum, whose wife has been at his side often as he has campaigned for president over the past year, said in the fall that he was generally in favor of a cap on awarding money for pain and suffering, fearing that juries could be swayed by sympathy and award excess amounts for intangible, non-economic damages. In 2003, he proposed capping pain and suffering awards at $250,000 and allowing larger awards when more than one doctor or medical facility is involved in a malpractice case.