Former U.S. Congressman Steve LaTourette, a nine-term Republican Congressman from Ohio, has filed formal notice of his intention to proceed with a medical malpractice claim against the United States, alleging that Capitol Hill doctors negligently failed to inform him of the results of an MRI performed in March 2012 that showed a lesion in his pancreas that the radiologist recommended for follow-up care with his congressional physician.
The former Congressman had been hospitalized twice in the year before the MRI, for gastrointestinal pain and mild pancreatitis. He found out that he had pancreatic cancer during the summer of 2014, when he went to his personal doctor after having retired from Congress in 2013.
His medical malpractice claim alleges that had the congressional physician either followed up with the MRI results and/or advised him in a timely fashion of the results of the MRI, he would have sought earlier diagnosis, intervention and treatment of his pancreatic cancer that could have made a difference in his prognosis. He intends to seek damages for past and future medical expenses, lost wages, and pain, suffering, and mental anguish.
The former Congressman is seeking permission from a federal judge to record his testimony at the present time in order to preserve his testimony in case he is too ill or dies before he can testify during trial. It has been reported that government lawyers are not opposing that request.
Interestingly, on November 7, 2009, the former Congressman voted in favor of an amendment to a pending House bill, which amendment would have limited non-economic damages awarded in medical liability lawsuits to a maximum of $250,000, regardless of the number of parties against whom the action was filed, and would have limited punitive damages awarded in medical liability lawsuits to a maximum of $250,000 or twice the amount of economic damages awarded, whichever is greater.
Mr. LaTourette is the President and CEO of Main Street Partnership (formerly called the Republican Main Street Partnership until it changed its name in 2013, to remove “Republican” from its name), which touts itself as “aligned with the governing wing of the Republican Party and centrist policymakers. Main Street’s membership is comprised of main stream fiscally conservative elected officials along with individuals and entities that support our mission.”
We wonder what Mr. LaTourette now thinks about his proposed national cap on noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases in light of his unfortunate medical situation and his intention to seek compensation from the United States for his noneconomic damages resulting from the alleged medical negligence.
Does Mr. LaTourette believe that $250,000 would adequately compensate him for his pain, suffering, and mental anguish that have resulted from his claimed medical malpractice that he alleges has resulted in his present dire circumstances? We do not believe so, and Mr. LaTourette may be reconsidering his prior promotion of a national cap on noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases in the amount of $250,000.
If you or a family member have suffered serious injury that may be the result of medical malpractice in the United States, you should promptly find a local medical malpractice lawyer in your state who may investigate your medical negligence claim or you and represent you in a medical liability case, if appropriate.
Turn to us when you don’t know where to turn.