After spirited debate in Legislature, bill has been signed
After a brief but spirited tussle over consumer protection vs. business development, the Republican-controlled Legislature approved a bill making it more difficult to win damage awards in civil law suits. Walker signed the bill on Jan. 27, 2011..
As reported in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the change will block lawsuits from proceeding in cases where plaintiffs cannot prove who harmed them. That change is in response to a 2005 state Supreme Court decision that allowed a case against paint manufacturers to advance to trial even though the plaintiff could not prove which companies made the lead paints that poisoned him as a child.
The new law will also limit noneconomic damages to $750,000 in medical malpractice cases at nursing homes; limit punitive damages to $200,000 or double the amount of compensatory damages, whichever is higher; raise the standards for qualifying people as experts when they testify; and block reports on abuse in nursing homes from being entered into evidence in civil and criminal cases.
With the bill signed, we move this one to Promise Kept.
JSOnline.com, Walker scores victories, Jan. 20, 2011
JSOnline.com, Walker signs bill limiting court awards in injury cases, Jan. 27, 2011