Judge upholds UW doctor malpractice cap

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A Dane County judge has upheld a $250,000 malpractice cap for University of Wisconsin-Madison doctors.

The case involves a Verona woman who won a $1.8 million jury award in her husband’s death, as the jury found a UW doctor was negligent. Terri Fiez challenged the malpractice cap set for UW doctors and other state employees.

Judge John Markson ruled Fiez had not shown the cap was unconstitutional, according to the State Journal (http://bit.ly/1bbfqJ3 ). The judge urged the state Supreme Court to take the case because the $250,000 cap was set by the Legislature 34 years ago.

“I believe the plaintiffs provide cogent arguments that deserve close examination by our Supreme Court, which is the only court that can modify or overrule the decisions that I believe are controlling,” Markson wrote. An equivalent cap today would be $800,000, he said.

“How does it meet the rational-basis test to cap Ms. Fiez’s damages at 14 percent of what the jury believed fair and reasonable … ?” the judge wrote.

Fiez’s attorney, Eric Farnsworth, said he likely will appeal. Farnsworth said he was encouraged by Markson’s “very obvious belief … that this is a hugely out-of-date law.”

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Information from: Wisconsin State Journal, http://www.madison.com/wsj

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