Thanks to a ruling from the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, the Badger State was featured in the American Tort Reform Foundation’s (ATRF) 2017-2018 Judicial Hellholes report.
Each year, the ATRF identifies and ranks the states, localities, or court systems in which civil case judges have systematically applied laws and court procedures unfairly and in an unbalanced way that disadvantages defendants. Wisconsin earned one of three dishonorable mentions in this year’s report. These dubious honors are awarded to “singularly unsound court decisions, abusive practices, legislation, or other actions that erode the fairness of a state’s civil justice system and aren’t otherwise detailed in other sections of the report.”
In Wisconsin’s case, it was the ruling in a medical liability case.
“In July 2017, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, District 1 struck down the state’s statutory limit on noneconomic damages in medical liability cases, holding that lawmakers’ $750,000 limit was arbitrary and unfairly burdensome to catastrophically injured plaintiffs,” the report said. “The appellate court’s decision in Mayo v. Wisconsin Injured Patients and Families Comp. Fund cited the Wisconsin Supreme Court decision in Ferdon ex rel. Petrucelli v. Wisconsin Patients Comp. Fund, which struck down other statutory liability limits largely on equal protection grounds. Both cases also reached the conclusion that the amount of the cap was arbitrarily selected because it was not rationally related to the legislative objective of lowering medical malpractice insurance premiums. Wisconsin’s high court has granted cert and is expected to hear Mayo arguments in early 2018.”
To read the full report, visit http://www.judicialhellholes.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/judicial-hellholes-report-2017-2018.pdf.