Gov. Jim Doyle and the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee recommended changing the rules for when a person or business could pay all damages in civil cases. Now, someone must be 51% or more liable to pay all damages; Doyle wanted to drop that to 1%, while the committee recommended putting it at 20%.
But Democrats who run the Assembly said they didn’t want to go along with that provision in a closed-door meeting. The office of Assembly Speaker Mike Sheridan (D-Janesville) announced the decision.
Business groups railed against the proposed change to liability laws, saying it would drive companies out of business and raise insurance costs. Trial attorneys counter that the changes are needed to make the system fairer for victims.
The Assembly formally will make that change when members convene Thursday to vote on the budget. Democrats plan to amend the budget throughout the day Wednesday as they head into the floor debate.
Good for the Democrats for (hopefully) recognizing how bad this would have been for Wisconsin.
It’s not over yet, though. It could still be stuck back in by the Senate and end up in the final version. Keep vigilant!
I love the trial lawyers argument. If they were so concerned for the victims, they could lower their fees.
Besides, insurance is who pays the victims anyway.