Summary of Family Justice Hearing
On July 14, 2009 WAJ President Mark Thomsen and three families testified at the Assembly Judiciary & Ethics Committee hearing on the Family Justice bill. Eric Rice of Middleton, Jane Spietz of Oshkosh and Harvey & Diane Gregory of Menasha provided some heartfelt testimony on the loss of their loved one. The hearing was taped and can be viewed on WisconsinEye.
The legislation, which has been introduced since the 1999 legislative session, would amend current law that denies the parents of a single adult child, or the adult children of unmarried or widowed parents to seek recourse for medical malpractice through the civil justice system. Wisconsin is one of a handful of states with such a law and it is considered to be the most restrictive.
WAJ has been working to remove this illogical double-standard from Wisconsin law to ensure all families are able to seek justice when they have been wronged. If anyone has come into your office with a case seeking help because a widowed parent or single child died as a result of medical malpractice, please contact the WAJ office, 608-257-5741 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Effective Dates of Auto Insurance Changes
As I’m sure you know by now, numerous changes to the way auto insurance works in Wisconsin were adopted at the urging of WAJ as part of the state budget. These provisions referred to as Truth in Auto Insurance make a number of important changes that will affect your clients in a positive way.
There have been many questions when the changes in the budget will go into effect, this should provide some clarity.
Auto Insurance (three different dates to watch)
Except for the increase in liability limits, the effective date is: “The changes will first apply to motor vehicle insurance policies that are issued or renewed on the first day of the 5th month after publication.” (Section 9326(6), page 680 and Section 9426(2) on page 688) The Legislative Reference Bureau has indicated that will be November 1, 2009.
The liability limits increase to $50,000/ $100,000/ $15,000 will take place on January 1, 2010. (Section 2962t, page 556)
The mandatory automobile insurance requirements will go into effect the 1st of the 12th month after publication, which should be June 1, 2010. (Section 9450 (15v), pages 691-92)
Medical Records and Presumption of Reasonableness of Medical Bills
For changes relating to medical records and the presumption issue under 908.03 (6m). Effective Date: These provisions went into effect on July 1, 2009. (Section 9322(9c), page 680 and Section 9400, page 685)
The sections and page numbers are listed after each provision, so you can find the provisions. (The budget act, Act 28, is available online here. It is on the right side of the page and designated, “2009 Budget Bill as vetoed (Act 28)”
Calling all members – The Justice Fund needs your help!
In the wake of some of the biggest legislative victories in the past 15 years for WAJ and the consumers they represent, you might think we can take a break from looking forward to the next battles for a minute, but you would be wrong.
“While there was great progress in the legislature with the adoption of the Truth in Auto legislation, it was not easy. If we lose focus these changes could easily be undone by a less civil justice friendly legislature,” explained WAJ president Mark Thomsen.
The Justice Fund, WAJ’s political conduit, was established over two years ago and has proven to be an effective tool in helping raise the profile of WAJ in the eyes of decision makers. To date just over 10% of WAJ members have participated in the Justice Fund by pledging a monthly contribution.
A renewed effort is underway to double the participation in the Fund before the end of the year. To find out how you can get involved please visit our website or email email@example.com.
When we stand together we are stronger. Don’t wait to make your voice part of our team!