When Candidates Run For President and Other Political Office, I Am Never Surprised Of Their Hypocritical Stance When It Comes To Tort Reform
Rick Santorum, a Republican candidate for President, blames lawyers and medical malpractice lawsuits for unnecessarily driving up health care costs. He claims that he will push to limit payments to medical malpractice lawsuit victims and has repeatedly spoken about caps on medical malpractice recoveries. What Mr. Santorum fails to mention in his campaign speeches is that he testified in support of his wife when she filed a medical malpractice lawsuit that allegedly sought $500,000 dollars in damages, which was twice the cap in his original legislative proposal. According to sources Karen Santorum, the wife of Rick Santorum, claimed that a chiropractor left her with a back injury that will result in a lifetime of pain medication and restriction of mobility.
On the campaign trail when questioned, Senator Santorum told reporters that he backed limits and that his wife did not sue for pain and suffering which is the area he thought should be capped. The Judge in the Santorum case stated that a majority of the $350,000 jury verdict awarded to the Santorum’s was largely for unspecific losses and pain and suffering which he concluded was excessive. It is unfortunate however, that after practicing as a Pennsylvania catastrophic injury and malpractice attorney for over 30 years, I often find that the people that complain the most about lawyers are the ones that are the greediest when it comes time to the resolution of their own claims. When they are the victim or a family member is the affected victim, they have a totally different view and yes, they too become “greedy for justice".
I was regularly attacked by a prominent physician in Philadelphia who when dining with me or socializing with me would always chastise the efforts of myself and other trial lawyers committed to achieving justice for injured victims. When this doctor sustained a catastrophic injury as the result of medical malpractice, the sky was the limit for how much he wanted. He was no longer calling for the caps on damages that he was so arrogant and vociferous about before his accident.
Why is it that people will say anything to get them elected to office, yet when it comes time to a personal tragedy where they or their family member is a victim, it is a different set of standards?
I have always believed that a man should be judged by his actions rather than his words. I am not afraid to admit that yes, I am still “greedy for justice" when a wrongdoing occurs caused by the negligence of another or a defectively manufactured product.
I believe wholeheartedly in the American justice system and the average 500 year collective wisdom of American juries.