A spokesman for the Iowa Trial Lawyers Association calls the Republican Senator who’s filed a lawsuit over a dog bite “a hypocrite.” State Senator Ron Wieck of Sioux City is suing a dog owner from Pierson because Wieck says the dog bit him in the groin area while he was campaigning last summer. Wieck’s asking the guy to pay to replace his ruined clothes and to cover his medical expenses. But Wieck’s also asking the coon dog owner to pay punitive damages to compensate for Wieck’s pain, suffering, anxiety and humiliation. Brad Lint, a spokesman for the Iowa Trial Lawyers Association, points out that Wieck was the sponsor of a bill that would have limited Iowans’ ability to collect those kind of “punitive” damages in such lawsuits. Lint says Wieck, who led the charge to limit his constituents’ legal rights, is now suing one of his constituents. Lint says “this is exactly the kind of behavior that gives politicians a bad name.” Lint says Wieck “apparently thinks lawsuits are baseless, except for the ones he files.”Lint says Wieck says stop his efforts to curtail Iowans’ legal rights. Senate Democrat Leader Michael Gronstal of Council Bluffs says Wieck’s going to be on both sides of the issue, since he’s one of the legislators who’s signed on to complain about Governor Vilsack’s veto of the limits on lawsuit damages.Gronstal says on the one hand, Wieck’s saying Iowans shouldn’t have the right to sue in such cases, while on the other hand, he’s filing just such a lawsuit. He says the legislation would make Iowa a dumping ground for faulty products, a place that went easy on drunk drivers, and a place where vicious dogs would go unpunished. Gronstal says “it’s the height of hypocrisy.” Wieck rejects the idea he is a hypocrite. Wieck says he’s “functioning under the current Iowa law.” Wieck, who criticized the law this past spring, says he had no qualms about filing his lawsuit. Wieck says he has a situation that “speaks for itself” and he declined to talk about the specifics of the lawsuit. Wieck calls it a “private situation.” “I do not believe this is a frivolous lawsuit,” Wieck says.
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