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WMC Advocates for Capping Nuclear Verdicts

Evan Umpir, Director of Tax, Transportation, and Legal Affairs, testified before the Senate Judiciary & Public Safety Committee in support of Senate Bill 613. This bill would limit noneconomic damages resulting from a truck accident. “Nuclear Verdicts,” generally recognized as jury awards over $10 million, have been steadily increasing for more than a decade. SB 613 would cap only noneconomic damages (e.g. pain, suffering, and mental anguish; loss of consortium; loss of companionship) at $1 million, not quantifiable, economic damages resulting from the accident. Noneconomic damage caps are not new or unique to Wisconsin; medical malpractice cases currently have a $750,000 cap in statute. As the cost of jury awards increases, this has an effect on insurance costs and ultimately impact consumers and other businesses purchasing goods transported by truck. The Assembly Committee voted an identical bill out of committee on a bipartisan basis; the Senate version now awaits a vote in committee.

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