The Illinois medical malpractice lawyers at our firm know that it is old hat to talk about hypocrisy in politics. Sadly, some believe that the culture of saying one thing and doing another is simply part of the system and that it will never change. Of course, this pessimistic view of governance might prove true. But that doesn’t mean those who care about honesty, transparency, and openness in the political process should simply give up. Each Chicago medical malpractice attorney at our firm is reminded of this every day in our work with our clients. These individuals are incredibly strong and courageous community members who deserve equal and fair access to the civil justice system. Fighting to ensure that they maintain the opportunity to seek redress and accountability will always be a battle worth pursuing.
A big component of fighting against misguided tort reform measures is exposing the politicians (and others) who say one thing about the justice system and then do another. In all political issues-including those related to medical malpractice-this hypocrisy is usually a testament to the fact that the political position the wrong one. That is clearly the case when it comes to tort reform. Many of the loudest advocates have been shown to say one thing in public-when they are trying to get the support of deep-pocketed insurance interests-and then do another when their own family is faced with the realities of medical errors or substandard care.
This week the national media picked up on one story of this hypocrisy which we discussed a few weeks ago. A story in the Washington Post explained that Republican Presidential candidate Rick Santorum, who has repeatedly argued that we need medical malpractice caps, testified in his wife’s own medical malpractice lawsuit claiming that the cap should not apply in her case.
His wife’s suit was filed against a chiropractor. She explained that the chiropractor’s mistake led her with a permanent back injury that would lead to a lifetime of pain medication and mobility problems. Mrs. Santorum had visited the chiropractor after childbirth to relieve lower back pain caused by the delivery. The family claimed that the spinal manipulation that the chiropractor performed led to a herniated disk which had to be surgically removed. In the end, the jury awarded his family damages for “pain and suffering” that he had previously argued would be “excessive”-but only if it applied to other families instead of his own.
As one local attorney familiar with the situation summarized, “Politicians complain about these kinds of claims, but when they speak out publicly, they don’t think about the real people affected by these tragic events. When they are the real person affected, suddenly they have a totally different view.”
Every Illinois medical malpractice lawyer-and every local resident-is likely tired of politicians who think the rules do not apply to them. Inequality of opportunity should never be tolerated. However, most so-called “tort reform” efforts seek only to insulate some companies from being held accountability. These special rules rigged in favor of the biggest companies should never be tolerated.
See Our Related Blog Posts: