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Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Tort Reform for Thee but Not for Me 

I've always said that opponents of abortion rights (many, not all) are of the variety of "abortion for me but not for thee." That is, they want abortion to be an option for themselves and for their upper-middle-class children, but not for anyone else. So, you have policies like the "global gag rule" and the parental notification laws and such.

Now, we see, that conservatives feel the same way about the ability to sue doctors and companies that harm them. It's find for conservatives to do it (IOKIYAR--It's Ok If You're A Republican), but for everyone else we need tort reform. Via Josh Marshall, and 1999 article from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
WASHINGTON -- A Virginia jury last night awarded the wife of Sen. Rick Santorum $350,000 in damages after she charged in a lawsuit that a Virginia chiropracter's negligence caused her permanent back pain.

Deliberating more then six hours after a four-day trial in which Santorum, R-Pa., testified, the Fairfax County Circuit Court jury unanimously ruled for Karen Santorum. She had sought $500,000 against Dr. David Dolberg of Virginia, because of pain from his 1996 treatment of her.

"Mrs. Santorum has been vindicated," said her Pittsburgh attorney Heather Heidelbaugh. "She was injured permanently through the actions of a chiropractor who acted negligently."

Heidelbaugh, with the Pittsburgh law firm of Burns, White & Hickton, said Mrs. Santorum has "permanent back pain" and "permanent numbness" in one leg.

Throughout the trial, Santorum aides declined to provide details. Yesterday, they issued a brief statement from the senator saying: "The court proceedings are a personal family matter. I will not be offering any further public comments, other than that I am not a party to the suit. But I am fully supportive of my wife."
For more examples, including Tom Delay and George W. Bush using those blood-sucking plaintiff's lawyers, see here. GOP hypocrisy--the gift that keeps on giving.
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