Three-year Statute of Limitations

**PLEASE SUPPORT Assembly Bill 247 & Senate Bill 126**

BILL: AB 247 and SB 126 - Sen. Fred Risser & Rep. Phil Montgomery

ISSUE:  3-yr Statute of Limitations

REQUESTED ACTION:  Support

Background: This bill applies the same 3-year statue of limitations for medical malpractice cases for privately run health systems to state entities.

Reason for Support:Wisconsin families who choose UW Hospital & Clinics or UW Health/Physicians Plus should not be treated differently than families who choose privately operated health systems. Under current law, the statute of limitations runs out after 180-days if you are treated by physicians at a state health facility (such as UW Hospital & Clinics or UW Health/Physicians Plus) and medical malpractice results in injury or death to your family member.  Privately run health systems are subject to a 3-year statute of limitations for the same claims.

The current law creates problems in many cases.  It can take a long time to receive medical records, which can create problems with the short time period allowed to file a claim.  Additionally, a vast majority of patients are not aware of the 180-day period for state run facilities due to the fact that no one is legally obligated to inform them length of the statute of limitations.

Wisconsin families should be afforded fair and equal protection under the law, regardless of which hospital they use and a standard law should be enacted regarding access to the courts.


**Please Support Substitute Amendment 1 to Senate Bill 126**

DATE:  December 3, 2007

BILL: SB 126 - Sen. Fred Risser & Rep. Phil Montgomery

ISSUE: 3-yr Statute of Limitations in Medical Malpractice Cases against state officers or other governmental bodies.

REQUESTED ACTION: Support Senate Substitute Amendment 1 to SB 126

Background:The bill would apply the same 3-year statue of limitations for medical malpractice cases for privately run health systems to medical doctors employed by the UW Foundation.  Most, if not all, UW doctors are employed by the Foundation.

Substitute Amendment:   In addition to UW Foundation doctors, the substitute amendment includes UW "resident doctors" (not yet licensed) and UW Pharmacists that are employed by the UW Hospital Authority.  The Substitute Amendment also eliminates the need to file a notice of claim, since the notice now become redundant.

Reason for Support: Wisconsin families who choose UW Hospital & Clinics or UW Health/Physicians Plus should not be treated differently than families who choose privately operated health systems.
Under current law, the injured patients must notify the state or other governmental body of a potential malpractice claim within 180-days if they were treated by physicians or other health care professionals at a health facility operated by a governmental body (such as UW Hospital & Clinics or UW Health/Physicians Plus) and medical malpractice results in injury or death to a family member.  Privately run health systems are subject to a 3-year statute of limitations for the same claims.

The current law creates problems in many cases.  It can take a long time to receive medical records, which can create problems with the short time period allowed to file a claim.  Additionally, a vast majority of patients are not aware of the 180-day period for state run facilities due to the fact that no one is legally obligated to inform them of the length of the statute of limitations.  The current situation creates a dangerous maze for the unwary.  Patients shouldn't be penalized by losing their right to proceed in court for failure to navigate through this maze in 180 days. 
Wisconsin families should be afforded fair and equal protection under the law, regardless of which hospital or doctor the use.

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