MADISON – Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce Tuesday called for swift passage of Governor Scott Walker’s comprehensive package of lawsuit reforms that will improve the state’s business climate while providing justice for victims.
“Governor Walker and his legislative allies are to be commended for their sweeping plan to clamp down on lawsuit abuse,” said James A. Buchen, WMC vice president of government relations. “Lawmakers from both parties need to unite and support these reforms to demonstrate to the nation that Wisconsin is open for business.”
“Passage of the lawsuit reforms will send a signal to the business executives that Wisconsin is a safe place to create jobs,” Buchen added.
Governor Walker, upon being sworn in to office Monday, 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.
“These are common sense reforms that will ensure our legal system is fair and predictable so that employers can be confident that they won’t be sued out of business,” Buchen said. “These reforms will improve our business climate and will help encourage job creation while protecting victims.”
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
James Buchen, (608) 258-3400