An appellate court ruled that Wisconsin’s $750,000 cap on non-economic damages in medical malpractice claims is unconstitutional. This decision stemmed from a case in which a Wisconsin district court ruled that a woman, who lost all four limbs, should collect an award of $16.5 million to her and her husband that included compensation for pain and suffering and her husband’s lost companionship.
Recent Medical Malpractice Caps
Wisconsin lawmakers previously implemented a statutory limit of $750,000, on recovery for non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases. By contrast, however, Wisconsin lawmakers did not place a cap on the amount of economic damages a potential plaintiff may recover for medical malpractice cases. The First District Court of Appeals, however, wrote a 19-page opinion, holding that the “statutory cap on non-economic damages is unconstitutional on its face” because the cap “always reduces noneconomic damages only for the class of the most severely injured victims who have been awarded damages exceeding the cap, yet always allows full damages to the less severely injured malpractice victims . . . .” Essentially, this cap was held unconstitutional because it did not impact the class of victims seeking malpractice damages equally by denying equal protection to those severely injured victims.
The case is expected to be appealed to the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
As demonstrated above, medical malpractice claims raise complex issues and are subject to changes in the applicable law. For any questions about Minnesota or Wisconsin medical malpractice claims, please call or e-mail our experienced medical malpractice attorneys by visiting our Contact Page or calling us at 651-482-8900.