Medical Malpractice Damages Cap Ruled Unconstitutional in Wisconsin

MADISON, Wis. (CN) – A Wisconsin appeals court ruled Wednesday that the state’s $750,000 cap on medical malpractice damages is unconstitutional because it imposes an unequal disadvantage for catastrophically injured patients.

“We conclude that the statutory cap on noneconomic damages is unconstitutional on its face because it … [imposes] an unfair and illogical burden only on catastrophically injured patients, thus denying them the equal protection of the laws,” the ruling states. “We conclude that because Wisconsin’s cap on noneconomic medical malpractice damages 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, this cap denies equal protection to that class of malpractice victims whose adequate noneconomic damages a factfinder has determined are in excess of the cap.” (Emphasis in original.)

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