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Be Careful What You Ask For

There is a long line of politicians who vote for various tort reform measures only to need to turn to the tort system themselves.  The latest is Florida Republican Stephen Wise, a strong supporter of reform of medical malpractice and nursing home litigation.  According to the Florida Times Union:

As a state representative and senator representing North Florida since 1998, he consistently has fought against trial lawyers and for medical malpractice reform. He repeatedly has voted for measures that make it tougher for people to take medical institutions to court – and to limit the amount of potential damages if they end up there. In particular, he has focused on nursing homes. In 2004, the Times-Union asked all the local candidates to name their top three issues. Wise said his were education, constitutional amendment reform and nursing home reform.

Now comes word that Senator Wise’s wife has filed suit against a Jacksonville, Florida nursing home following the death of her father.  And apparently, the perspective of plaintiff has changed Senator Wise’s outlook:

You don’t want people suing for goofy things,” Stephen Wise said. “But if a loved one isn’t taken care of, then I think there should be consequences. … There has to be a balance.”

I reminded Wise that in 2003 Jim King, then the state Senate president, was skewered by fellow Republicans for trying to find a balance. At the time, Wise disagreed with King and pushed for lower caps. Today?

“You go back and say he probably had a lot of wisdom,” Wise said. “It’s tough.”

While we don’t wish ill will on anyone, we do believe that any time a tort reform supporter has the opportunity to look through the eyes of a plaintiff, then it increases the chance that a just tort system can continue.

Thanks to Orlando personal injury lawyer Ed Normand for the link.

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