The Wisconsin Medical Society filed a brief yesterday asking the Wisconsin Supreme Court to reverse a decision by the Wisconsin Court of Appeals striking down the state’s $750,000 cap on noneconomic damages (Cap) in medical liability cases. The case, Mayo v. Wisconsin Injured Patients and Families Compensation Fund, could have a major impact on Wisconsin’s health care liability environment.
In its July 5, 2017 decision, the Court of Appeals concluded that the Cap violates the equal protection rights of plaintiffs in medical liability cases. The Society had filed an amicus brief in the Court of Appeals, jointly with the American Medical Association (AMA) and Wisconsin Hospital Association, explaining the value of the Cap to Wisconsin’s well-balanced medical liability system. Following the Court of Appeals’ decision, the Society and AMA also filed an amicus brief in the Supreme Court successfully urging it to accept review of the case.
“Wisconsin’s well-balanced liability system is an important contributor to what makes Wisconsin a great place to practice medicine. We appreciate this opportunity to explain to our state’s highest court how the Cap benefits patients and physicians alike,” said Society CEO Bud Chumbley, MD, MBA.
In the amicus filed yesterday, the Society and AMA explained to the Court how the Cap benefits patients, not burdens them as has been too often presumed.
“The Cap is often characterized as a benefit to physicians at the expense of patients, especially the most severely injured, when nothing could be further from the truth,” said Society General Counsel John Rather, JD. “The Cap is what ensures all patients have access to the tremendous benefits of the Fund and its ability to provide guaranteed recovery of all economic damages as well as up to $750,000 in noneconomic damages. No other state in the nation provides this level of protection for its patients.”
A decision by the Supreme Court is anticipated by mid-summer. For more information, contact Society General Counsel John Rather, JD.
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