Is Rick Santorum A Hypocrite On Medical Malpractice?

As former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum continues to surge in the race for Republican presidential nominee, it has emerged that his call for a $250,000 cap on medical malpractice suits isn’t a policy that his family actually follows.

Care2′s Kristina Chew suggested here that Santorum just might be a phony, and now here’s more proof.

Karen Santorum Sues Chiropractor For $500,000

Back in 1999, his wife Karen sued her chiropractor for $500,000 for allegedly injuring her back.  Santorum testified in the case, telling the jury that the injury caused his wife pain and impaired her ability to campaign for him.

From ABC news:

The problem started when Karen Santorum visited chiropractor Dr. David Dolberg to treat her sore back shortly after she lost her newborn son Gabriel.  According to the lawsuit, Dr. Dolberg made the problem worse by causing a herniated disk. Eventually Santorum had surgery to fix the problem.

The jury awarded Mrs. Santorum $350,000 (although the award was later reduced to $175,000) .

At the time, Democrat James Carville called Santorum “a world class hypocrite” because while his wife sued for $500,000, he had co-sponsored a bill limiting medical malpractice lawsuits to $250,000 in non-economic damages.

As Wife Sues For $500,000, Santorum Pushes For $250,000 Limit

By the time of the lawsuit, then-Senator Santorum had taken up the cause of tort reform, twice sponsoring or co-sponsoring bills limiting the non-economic awards for pain and suffering that a plaintiff could seek to $250,000.

When asked about the apparent contradiction after the verdict, Santorum told the Pittsburgh Post Gazette on December 11, 1999, “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.”

ABC News approached the senator five years later, and he offered a further explanation that while he completely supported his wife, that didn’t mean that he agreed with everything she did.

Santorum The Tort-Reform President?

On the campaign trail in Iowa last fall, the Des Moines Register reported that Santorum continued to push the idea that he would be a tort-reform president, even if it made him unpopular with Washington lobbyists.

But will the Santorum family be excluded from those reforms?

What do you think? Is Santorum a world-class hypocrite, as James Carville suggested?

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Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

127 comments

Faith Purdy
Faith Purdy4 years ago

i really wish i could say that this story surprises me, but it doesn't.

s. ryan
p. q4 years ago

so tired of santorum.

J.L. A.
JL A.4 years ago

Some say GOP politics is about denying rights to others that they claim for themselves.

Jane Barton
Jane Barton4 years ago

Filthy rich @%#.

Albert P.
Albert P.4 years ago

Insanity = repugnicant party = t-pottyers = Santorum = Gingrich = Romney, etc, etc, etc....ad infinitum.

Lynn C.
Lynn C.4 years ago

Yawn.

Diane L.
Diane L.4 years ago

do as I say not as I do

timothy m.
timothy m.4 years ago

Jan said, "Well of course he's not a hypocrite. He truly believes he should regulate how other people live while exempting his own family from any such restrictions."

Well, of course that's true. Santorum is a senator. All legislation passed by Congress specifically exempts all senators and congresspersons from its provisions. Liberal, conservative... doesn't matter. They all agree that they're above the law.

Jan N.
Jan N.4 years ago

Well of course he's not a hypocrite. He truly believes he should regulate how other people live while exempting his own family from any such restrictions.

Phil P.
Phil P.4 years ago

No question about it. As his name implies, this man is a stain on the anus of the GOP.