Doctors support GOP candidates for high court

Cleveland Plain Dealer
Monday, October 14, 2002

These days, Dr. Daniel Cudnik writes out the same prescription for every patient he sees, regardless of their ailment: "Vote for Eve Stratton and Maureen O'Connor."

Besides the prescription he hands out, the Willoughby physician discusses the attributes of the two Republican candidates for the Ohio Supreme Court with his patients. Each door in his office has a poster touting the judicial experience of Stratton, running for her second Supreme Court term, and O'Connor, the lieutenant governor.

"This is my first endeavor" in politics, Cudnik confessed. "It is getting kind of interesting to see how things work."

The war to win votes in the Nov. 5 election and sway the balance on the state's court of last resort has gained an aura of respectability. The secretly funded, back alley political knife fights and nasty commercials that repulsed voters in 2000 have been traded for white lab coats and the sterile environment of the doctor's office.

Physicians in droves have answered the call to political battle, many for the first time. Skyrocketing malpractice insurance premiums are fueling that newfound political fervor. Though consumer organizations and trial attorneys disagree, the doctors blame runaway jury awards for malpractice insurance premiums that have more than doubled or tripled in recent years.


Not all think jury awards are the cause of spiraling insurance premiums. Recent studies from the consumer-oriented Center for Justice and Democracy and Americans for Insurance Reform lay the blame on mismanagement by insurers."

For a copy of the complete article, contact CJ&D.

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