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Lawsuit Reforms Needed to Help Job Creation

MADISONLawsuit reforms proposed by Governor Scott Walker and lawmakers will send a signal to employers that Wisconsin is open for business and is a great place to create jobs, WMC said Tuesday.

“Wisconsin businesses need to know that our legal system is fair and predictable,” said James A. Buchen, vice president of government relations for Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce. “Governor Walker has put forward a common sense set of legal reforms that send a message to employers that our state is serious about improving our business climate.”

Buchen told a joint hearing of the Assembly and Senate judiciary committees that the comprehensive package offered by Walker and lawmakers will garner national attention for our state, and encourage businesses to move to Wisconsin.

“These reforms are being watched from Main Street to Wall Street,” Buchen said. “If these reforms pass, it will be a dramatic first step towards improving our business climate.” Buchen said tax relief, regulation reform and litigation reform are critical to improving the business climate.

Governor Walker called the Legislature into a special session to pass legislation to improve Wisconsin’s business climate. Walker’s proposals will cut taxes, reform regulations, and clamp down on frivolous lawsuits.

Governor Walker and legislative sponsors of the lawsuit reforms are proposing:

  • Adoption of various changes to product liability law to bring Wisconsin in line with other states and assist Wisconsin manufacturers and small businesses.
  • Requiring expert witnesses to base their opinions on sound science and well-established theories.
  • Elimination of the “risk contribution” theory in manufacturing lawsuits. The Wisconsin Supreme Court created the standard allowing plaintiffs to sue any lead paint manufacturer that sold paint in the state without proving which product caused the harm.
  • Heightened standards for the award of punitive damages.

“Wisconsin needs to lead the way on lawsuit reform,” Buchen said. “We need to get our families back to work.”

James A. Buchen, (608) 258-3400





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