Proposed limit on medical malpractice damages ‘not enough’

Local News

Proposed legislation in Iowa could limit the amount of damages that could be awarded in a medical malpractice lawsuit, specifically for quality of life cases.

Some people who already dealt with medical malpractice cases say the proposed amount won’t be enough.

You can find one man who won his fight at the YMCA working out three days week.

It’s one of the many ways Brent Herman stays independent after an injury left him paralyzed from the waist down in 2008.

“From an extremely hard chiropractic adjustment that broke a blood vessel, made a blood vessel leak in my spine,” Herman said. “It clotted and pulled on my nerves. And finally it pushed so hard on my spinal cord that my spinal cord shut off.”

On top of the medical bills, he then had to renovate his house to fit his new lifestyle. And he was able to do that because of money he got from a medical malpractice lawsuit in 2013.

“I spent my own money on medical bills and renovating that house,” Herman said. “I would have been on welfare.”

But there’s new proposed laws in Iowa that would have prevented him from being able to do that.

It would cap the amount of quality of life damages someone could get at $250,000.

“The biggest part of any suit is how the negilgence affects their life,” trial lawyer Ben Long said.

Herman got almost triple that.

“If we wouldn’t have had that, we wouldn’t have had anything,” Herman said.

It’s something Herman has fought for years. And it frustrates him.

“No matter what you do they try to take it away and take it away,” Herman said. “And this kind of the bottom line, and when they take this away, people will not get what they deserve.”

But right now he says his quality of life is good.

“My life is pretty good,” Herman said. “I know I’m not going to walk so i try to do this. I was active in politics in Princeton for a while.”

So he knows the struggle, and he just wants others in the same situation to find the same peace he’s found.

Supporters of this proposal introduced this to protect healthcare providers from paying large sums of money, especially in areas where there’s only one provider.

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