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Malpractice Lawsuit Limits Ruling

Wisconsin Appeals Court Declares Medical Malpractice Damage Limits Unconstitutional

July 6, 2017

An appeals court in Wisconsin has ruled that a state law that limits to $750,000 the damages that may be awarded in medical malpractice suits is unconstitutional. The court’s reasoning was that the law unfairly withholds larger damage awards from patients who suffer from the most serious injuries.

The ruling emerged from a case involving a woman who filed a malpractice claim after an infection caused doctors to amputate all four of her limbs. The court found in the plaintiff’s favor and then went a step further, declaring that the state law that governed the amount of damages was unconstitutional.

The woman, Ascaris Mayo, had been awarded more than $25 million. A previous judge had ruled that that settlement was permitted, but that the damage cap was unconstitutional in this particular case. The recent ruling extends the bounds of unconstitutionality with regard to this statute.

The appeals court argued that there was no reason for capping damages at $750,000, since the purpose of the law was to improve health care for patients.

A bill currently under discussion in the U.S. House of Representatives would set a similar cap on malpractice damage cases at the federal level. As of early July 2017, the bill had not yet come up for debate.

If you believe that medical malpractice is the cause of injuries or health conditions from which you may be suffering, you may have a case. Contact to learn how we can help.

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