Tort Reform Package Passes Wisconsin Senate

By January 19, 2011Briefly Legal

The Wisconsin Senate on Tuesday passed SBJR1, Gov. Scott Walker’s tort reform package, by a vote of 19-14. Republicans voted for the bill, Democrats against it.

In a news release, Sen. Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) cited major provisions of importance to manufacturers:

  • Manufacturer protection: forcing lawsuits for legal damages to prove that the defendant actually manufactured the product that caused the damage;
  • Punitive damage reform: Sets a cap on punitive, noneconomic damages, which are currently unlimited. Recovering for actual economic damages is still allowed and uncapped;
  • Frivolous lawsuit reform: punish and ultimately prevent lawsuits with malicious intent or the sole intent of harassing a defendant.

This bill sets specific standards for improving the state’s tort climate, giving business greater confidence that they can thrive in Wisconsin instead of worrying about frivolous lawsuits and trial attorneys chasing the deepest pockets.

Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce issued a news release before the vote, urging passage. More from

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