Civil Justice 2011-12 Legislative Successes

Special Session SB1/AB 1 (Act 2 – Products Liability) – Adopts more reasonable products liability standards for manufacturers and sellers.

Status: PASSED. Signed into law (2011 Wisconsin Act 2).

 

Special Session SB 1/AB 1 (Act 2 – Risk Contribution Theory) – Eliminates the deeply flawed “risk contribution” theory in manufacturing lawsuits adopted in 2005 by the Wisconsin Supreme Court in Thomas v. Mallet.

Status: PASSED. Signed into law (2011 Wisconsin Act 2).

 

Special Session SB 1/AB 1 (Act 2 – Daubert Standards) – Gets rid of junk science in the courtroom by adopting sound science principles based on federal court rules and the U.S. Supreme Court decision (Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals).

Status: PASSED. Signed into law (2011 Wisconsin Act 2).

 

Special Session SB 1/AB 1 (Act 2 – Punitive Damages) – Places a cap on punitive damages at $200,000 or two times compensatory damages, whichever is greater.

Status: PASSED. Signed into law (2011 Wisconsin Act 2).

 

Special Session SB 1/AB 1 (Act 2 – Sanctions on Frivolous Lawsuits) – Imposes sanctions on frivolous lawsuits.

Status: PASSED. Signed into law (2011 Wisconsin Act 2).

 

Special Session SB 12/AB 12 (Reasonable Attorney Fees) – Sets forth a number of criteria courts must consider when awarding attorney fees, and provides a rebuttable presumption that attorney fees shall be no more than three times compensatory damages.

Status: PASSED. Signed into law (2011 Wisconsin Act 92).

 

Special Session SB 14/AB 14 (Interest on Judgments) – Changes Wisconsin’s pre- and post-judgment interest rates in all cases from 12 percent to the Federal Reserve Prime Rate plus
one percent.

Status: PASSED. Signed into law (2011 Wisconsin Act 69).

 

Special Session SB 22/AB 22 (Trespasser Liability) – Protects landowners from courts adopting the new Restatement of Torts by codifying the current law as it relates to the duty of care owed to a trespasser by a possessor of land.

Status: PASSED. Signed into law (2011 Wisconsin Act 93).

 

SB 202/AB 286 (Eliminating Punitive and Compensatory Damages) – Eliminates punitive and compensatory damages under the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act by repealing 2009 Wisconsin
Act 20.

Status: PASSED. Signed into law (2011 Wisconsin Act 219).