A bill to expand damages in medical malpractice cases draws Republican fire. The bill expands “loss of society and companionship” damages for adult children and their parents in medical malpractice cases.
During floor debate on Tuesday, state Senate Minority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said while there are clearly tragic individual cases, the real beneficiaries may not be those families. “There’s a certain segment that’s definately going to benefit from this,” said Fitzgerald. “And it’s the trial attorneys.” Fitzgerald called the legislation “a feel good bill,” and one that should not have been a legislative priority. “There’s many other things that I think should be addressed, and a bill of this type is . . . taking care of a very small niche that are very politically active.”
Fitzgerald said the bill will increase health care costs for everyone and make it harder for Wisconsin to attract and retain good doctors. The bill (SB-203) was opposed by the Wisconsin Hospitals Association, the Wisconsin Medical Society and Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, among others, but supported by the state’s trial lawyers association.
AUDIO: Bob Hague reports (1:15 MP3) AUDIO: Bob Hague reports (1:15 MP3)