For Immediate Release
July 21, 2010
WAJ applauds Supreme Court ruling on Patients Compensation Fund raid
MADISON, Wis. - The Wisconsin Association for Justice (WAJ) is pleased that the Wisconsin Supreme Court declared the raid of the Injured Patients and Families Compensation Fund (Fund) unconstitutional. WAJ opposed the $200 million Fund raid in 2007. It also submitted an Amicus Curiae Brief in support of the Wisconsin Medical Society's position, which the Supreme Court upheld.
Wis. Stats. § 655.27(6) provides that the Fund is to be held in irrevocable trust for the sole benefit of health care providers and proper claimants and further that moneys in the Fund are not to be used for any other purpose by the State.
The Supreme Court found that the purpose of the Fund is to make sure patients and their families who have been harmed as a result of medical malpractice can be compensated while holding down doctor's malpractice fees. The claimants and doctors are thus made beneficiaries of this trust. The taking of $200 million violated the tenants of the trust and was found unconstitutional.
WAJ believes that monies from the Fund should ensure full compensation for injured patients and their families suffering the consequences of medical mistakes. The money should not be siphoned away for unrelated purposes. To do otherwise breaks the trust injured patients and their families have to receive just compensation for their injuries.
The Wisconsin Association for Justice stands with consumers to promote a fair and effective justice system for every citizen, not just the privileged and wealthy.