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Victory for Victims of Medical Malpractice – hope trend spreads nationwide

Wisconsin currently has a $750,000 cap on non-economic damages that applies to damage awards in medical malpractice cases.  Illinois currently does not have any caps, however recent legislation at the federal level places a mere $250,000 cap on such awards for medical negligence awards.  

However, a recent trial judge ruling, upheld by the 1st District Court of Appeals in Wisconsin ruled the cap is unconstitutional on its face.  The reasoned that the cap allows full awards for less severely injured patients, but results in reduced awards for those who suffered catastrophic injuries which amounts to a violation of equal protection.  The case will certainly e appealed to the state Supreme Court, but this ruling is consistent with the arguments successfully made in Illinois when in the past attempts were made to cap such awards only to be later struck down by the Illinois Supreme Court.