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Politician Changing Tune: Rick Santorum & Medical Malpractice Damages Caps

Mellino Law Firm

Presidential candidate Rick Santorum made headlines when he called for limits on medical malpractice lawsuits in light of his wife’s large malpractice settlement in 1999. When medical malpractice hits close to home, politicians seem much more likely to change their tune when it comes to damages caps and medical malpractice reform.

Santorum’s wife Karen filed a suit against her chiropractor for a back injury and requested a settlement of $500,000, which is twice that of the current non-economic damage cap on medical malpractice claims. Most of Karen’s damages were non-economic in nature, meaning they were not for quantifiable medical expenses; they were related to “pain and suffering.”

Rick Santorum testified in his wife’s case, asserting that her pain limited her ability to campaign for him. She was awarded $350,000 in the settlement, although it was later reduced to $175,000.

It seems that Santorum is now in favor of some sort of medical malpractice reform. When someone you love is injured, it’s much easier to recognize the importance of malpractice lawsuits and how vital they are in obtaining adequate compensation for victims’ losses.

On an ABC News report, Santorum explained his stance on damage caps: “I am not wedded at all to a $250,000 cap as I’ve said publicly repeatedly, and I think probably that is somewhat low, and that we need to look at what I think is a cap that is a little bit higher than that.”

Our firm isn’t reporting this news story as either criticism or praise of Santorum or his candidacy; the story simply illustrates the importance of medical malpractice cases, the benefits they provide for the injured and their families, and the necessity of careful reevaluation of the current legislation.

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