Wisconsin Woman Challenges Cap on Malpractice Damages

July 30, 2013

A Verona, Wis., woman is challenging a law that caps malpractice damages against University of Wisconsin doctors at $250,000.

A Wisconsin State Journal report says a jury awarded Terri Fiez $1.8 million in a wrongful-death lawsuit against a UW doctor. But state law limits total damages against UW doctors to $250,000.

For most other doctors, non-economic damages are capped at $750,000, and there’s no cap on economic damages.

Fiez is challenging the UW cap in Dane County court, the first challenge to the 1979 law.

Her attorney, Eric Farnsworth, says the law means a widow who whose husband died at UW Hospital would be significantly worse off in the case of a fatal mistake than if the ambulance had taken him to a different hospital.

A UW Health spokeswoman declined to comment.

Latest Comments

  • August 5, 2013 at 4:27 pm
    No Doubt says:
    If I recall, caps came into being because doctors couldn't buy or afford malpractice. Insurance carriers couldn't price it as juries would base their decisions on emotions ove... read more
  • July 31, 2013 at 3:58 pm
    InsGuy says:
    Your right it wasn't specific, I guess I assumed to be on non-economic. It also said there's normally no cap, but applies in this case since it's the U/W. Possibly this is t... read more
  • July 31, 2013 at 3:00 pm
    perplexed says:
    Could someone in Wisconsin please clarify: Is the "cap" at issue a global cap for all damages? Or is it only for subjective, non-economic damages? The difference is huge, but... read more
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