The Iowa Trial Lawyers Association organized a news conference featuring Iowans who’ve been involved in medical malpractice cases. The group spoke out against a bill backed by republican lawmakers which would place a quarter million dollar cap on “pain and suffering” awards in medical malpractice cases. Art Heinzer of Marshalltown says his wife, Linda, suffered and died from medical negligence. Heinzer says he’s like to have somebody try to set a price on the life of his wife, who had five children and seven grandchildren when she died. Heinzer says a court and a jury should decide medical malpractice cases, not — in his words “these people” — in other words — legislators. Heinzer says there’s one simple reason to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. Heinzer says “it’s not about the money. It’s to make sure that these doctors learn from their mistakes and it doesn’t happen again.” Heinzer, whose wife died of a misdiagnosed brain hemorrhage, made a direct appeal to legislators.Heinzer says he doesn’t wish his kind of heartache on anybody, but he asked legislators to consider if the same thing happened to their wife, mother or loved one, would they think 250-thousand dollars was enough to compensate for that loss. A woman from Des Moines who attended the news conference to talk about the death of her loved one cried and was unable to read her statement against medical malpractice award limits………A trade official from Washington is in Iowa today (Thursday) to speak to the Iowa Association of Business and Industry about the president’s trade policy. Jim Jochum, an Iowa native, is Assistant Secretary for Import Administration, and says his Iowa roots help him with administration policies like the lifting of barriers to foreign steel imports.Jochum says his father worked for John Deere for 35 years and he’s talked with other Iowa manufacturers like Amana and Maytag to get an idea what high steel prices were doing to them. Iowa-based Maytag is building a new factory in Mexico, and Yochum says the administration has strategies to halt the “exporting” of American jobs to other countries. Each company does it for different reasons, but Yochum says what Washington’s hearing is that it costs too much to do business in the US, and the administration intends to focus on controlling manufacturers’ prices so they have less need to export jobs. Jochum says he gets a benefit from coming to Iowa to talk with business people, as the Bush administration gathered information for its manufacturing report by holding forums in 20 cities with the people who have to live with government policies. About fifteen-Hundred businesses are represented in the Iowa Association of Business and Industry, which lobbies lawmakers on their behalf.
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