In May, 1998, Bill Sali was in an auto accident and subsequently sued for damages. I post below excerpts from various documents filed in that lawsuit. Most, if not all, of this info was reported by Dan Popkey in 2000, and led to the infamous Sali statements about having “brain fade” and "Much of the time in the legislature critical thinking skills are not necessarily needed.”
I have been sitting on these documents since June, wondering whether I should publish them. However, Sali recently brushed off a Grant request to correct a misleading statement and Sali replied that "politics is a contact sport". So, some highlights from the court file.
Sali, who was wearing a seatbelt, was driving about 35-40 mph in his Toyota Cressida and t-boned another vehicle. He described the accident here in a document prepared and signed by him.
Note the fractured syntax and grammar where he writes “When I looked back ahead, [back ahead?] the Defendant’s did not yield from her stop sign...” He made “Defendant’s” possessive, and if it was supposed to be plural, he has a tense error with the singular pronoun “her.” No wonder it took him “30 drafts to find acceptable language” for his parental consent abortion law, “delaying action from 1999 to 2000. (Popkey Article)
Is this the guy we want for our Representative? He’s either sloppy or poorly educated, and incredibly inefficient; 30 drafts to write bill that was later overturned in the courts.
In his answer to Interrogatory No. 12, Sali wrote "the impact threw Plaintiff [Sali] forward and Plaintiff hit his head on the molding at the top of the windshield. Dr. Tobe at St. Alphonsus Emergency Room on the day of the accident diagnosed "Acute Closed Head Injury" Dr. Jutzy's diagnosis was a "concussion" on follow up 4 days later." This is either a run on sentence or Sali omitted a period after "Injury". More sloppiness.
A physician who later examined Sali provided more detail. Apparently Sali went to church and then home after the accident rather than straight to the emergency room.
Sali alleged various injuries from the accident in addition to the closed head injury, which is another way of saying brain damage. Sali said that he suffered low back and left leg pain, weakness and loss of coordination of his left arm and leg, and more. He reported to his doctor in June 1999 that he experienced stuttering, poor sleep, difficulty concentrating, and slow thought processes. He said he felt like there was a tight band around his brain, and as if his face was sagging. The doctor considered psychomototor retardation and reactive depression. The doc also wrote that Sali had been making some progress in therapy, but "His therapist notes some inconsistencies in his lower limb weakness...". Sali tried various modalities, including Paxil, Zoloft, Acupuncture, and Ritalin.
As more doctors examined Sali, they learned more and doubts began to emerge. It appeared that Sali was exaggerating in an effort to pump up damages.
Intermittant stuttering. Good short and long term memory.
Pain with virtually any movement, but normal motor testing. Weak (2/5 power) in foot and toe, but full strength walking. In other words, faking it.
Examination grossly exaggerated and inconsistant. Unable to move a muscle group but later able to move it fully.
Even though he alleged leg pain caused by the accident, Sali had been seeing docs for similar symptoms. A chiropractor over 100 times, and another doc around 80 times.
Sali's doc refused to give Sali a handicapped sticker and discharged Sali as patient. The doc said he was concerned about being "used" for "secondary gain purposes", i.e., to pump up damages.
Sali's doc summed it up thus: "inability to perform certain physical maneuvers while being obviously observed, but the patient was able to perform the same maneuvers freely when he though[t] he was not being observed."
I'm all for making your best case in a lawsuit. That's the point of the game. Lying about symptoms goes too far, however, especially when you're not smart enough or devious enough to be consistent. Don't take my word for it. A physical therapist, an MD and psychiatrist all concluded that Sali's complaints were inconsistent. Sali's own treating physician discharged Sali as a patient because the doc didn't want to "help this man build a large settlement case..".