On January 28, 2022, 2021 Assembly Bill 924 was introduced in Wisconsin “to amend 655.017, 893.55 (4) (b) and 893.55 (4) (d) 1.; and to repeal and recreate 893.55 (1d) of the statutes; relating to: recovery of noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases” in order to “increase the current law limit on noneconomic damages for injuries resulting from medical malpractice by establishing a limit of $3,000,000 on noneconomic damages for each occurrence of medical malpractice.”
Under current Wisconsin law, for each occurrence on or after April 6, 2006, the total noneconomic damages recoverable for bodily injury (including any action or proceeding based on contribution or indemnification and any action for a claim by a person other than the injured person for noneconomic damages recoverable for bodily injury) is limited to no more than $750,000 from all health care providers and all employees of health care providers acting within the scope of their employment and providing health care services who are found negligent and from the injured patients and families compensation fund. The proposed bill changes that limit to $3,000,000 for cases involving acts or omissions occurring after the bill goes into effect.
The proposed Bill states: “The objective of the treatment of this section is to ensure affordable and accessible health care for all of the citizens of Wisconsin while providing adequate compensation to the victims of medical malpractice. Achieving this objective requires a balancing of many interests. The legislature finds that the limitation of $3,000,000 represents an appropriate balance between providing reasonable compensation for noneconomic damages associated with medical malpractice and ensuring affordable and accessible health care.”
The justification for the present lower cap on noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases in Wisconsin is stated in 893.55 “Medical malpractice; limitation of actions; limitation of damages; itemization of damages.”:
(1d) (a) The objective of the treatment of this section is to ensure affordable and accessible health care for all of the citizens of Wisconsin while providing adequate compensation to the victims of medical malpractice. Achieving this objective requires a balancing of many interests. Based upon documentary evidence, testimony received at legislative hearings, and other relevant information, the legislature finds that a limitation on the amount of noneconomic damages recoverable by a claimant or plaintiff for acts or omissions of a health care provider, together with mandatory liability coverage for health care providers and mandatory participation in the injured patients and families compensation fund by health care providers, while compensating victims of medical malpractice in appropriate circumstances by the availability of unlimited economic damages, ensures that these objectives are achieved. Establishing a limitation on noneconomic damage awards accomplishes the objective by doing all of the following:
If you or a loved one may have been injured as a result of medical negligence in Wisconsin, you should promptly find a Wisconsin medical malpractice lawyer who may investigate your medical malpractice claim for you and represent you or your loved one in a Wisconsin medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
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