In July a State Court of Appeals decision in the Mayo v. WIPFCF case ruled unconstitutional Wisconsin’s $750,000 cap on non-economic damages for medical malpractice cases (passed by the Legislature in the late 1990’s). The case has been appealed to the Wisconsin Supreme Court and awaits the Court’s decision (which is anticipated to occur in the next couple of weeks) on whether they will take the case; most court watchers believe they will do so.
The case has great significance for Wisconsin’s medical liability climate. Facing many other medico-economic challenges, and building from Doctor Day partnerships, WACEP has taken the lead organizing a coalition of eight specialty medical societies to petition the Court to be named Amici (“friends of the court”) -- non-parties to the original case who may be affected by, or who can offer unique insight into the impact of the Court’s ultimate decision.
If granted Amici status, the coalition will work together to submit a brief explaining to the Court the potential impact on specialty physicians and their patients. No doubt many similar briefs will be offered in a case of this significance, and it is anticipated the Court will set a briefing schedule later this fall.