Plaintiff Senators And Medical Malpractice Cases
January 31, 2019
BY: Domhnall O'Cathain
It was 1996. Karen was pregnant with her fourth child when she went into premature labor. Karen gave birth to a baby boy who tragically did not survive. Her loving husband, Rick, was with her. They had been married for six years.
The delivery was emotionally and physically traumatizing. Karen suffered pain in her lower back and was indicated for chiropractic treatment.
Karen went for chiropractic treatment that involved spinal manipulation to relieve the pain in her lower back when a negligent manipulation caused a disc in the spine to herniate i.e. rupture.
A week later, Karen was back in the hospital, this time undergoing spinal surgery to remove the herniated disc.
Karen and Rick hired a medical malpractice attorney so that they could consider their legal options. A lawsuit was filed against the chiropractor and the case went to a jury.
At trial, Rick explained how the injury to Karen impacted her as a mother, wife, and a person – she could not exercise as often, had difficulty getting prepared to out in public, and had lost a lot of confidence in herself. By the time Rick got home at night, Karen was wiped out from exhaustion.
In closing argument, their attorney explained that Karen suffered a severe and permanent neurologic injury.
The jury decided that Karen and Rick should be compensated for the pain and suffering. The amount was $350,000.
This case made the news. Why?
Because Rick is Rick Santorum, a former US Senator, and former presidential candidate.
The Irony Of Rick Santorum In This Case
As a politician, Rick Santorum attempted to introduce laws that would have restricted people, like him and his wife, from bringing the very same lawsuit by limiting the ability of a jury to compensate injured people.
But Rick is not alone.
In January, the New York Times reported on a politician who worked on the presidential campaign of George W. Bush and presented arguments to place caps on the ability of a jury to compensate injured people.
That politician is an attorney. In 2008, that politician went to work for a private law firm and worked to defend the right of a jury to compensate injured people.
That politician is Ted Cruz.
The Importance of a Trial By Jury
What is the takeaway? That politicians say one thing and do another? Maybe.
Perhaps a more important takeaway is that when people are injured as a result of negligence, the only path to justice is often through the courts to get to a jury.
That is why we have the 7th Amendment and that is why we should guard it.
Like many of our constitutional guarantees in the Bill of Rights, we only believe in them when we need them.
If you have been injured as a result of medical malpractice or negligence, contact our team of New Jersey personal injury attorneys at Lesnevich, Marzano-Lesnevich, O’Cathain & O’Cathain, LLC for a free consultation.