The Wisconsin Hospital Association will "redouble its efforts" to limit noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases after a state bill that would do so was vetoed by Gov. Jim Doyle, WHA President Steve Brenton said. The bill vetoed Friday would have capped noneconomic damages at $450,000 for adults and $550,000 for minors. The state Supreme Court in July struck down as unconstitutional an existing cap of $445,775, with adjustments for inflation. In a letter to legislators, Doyle argued that the court would "almost certainly" find the new cap unconstitutional because "it ignores one of the court's major concerns -- that caps 'cannot be set unreasonably low.' " Brenton said the WHA will work with the governor and legislators to establish a higher cap. "We're relatively optimistic that a cap of under $1 million will enjoy overwhelming legislative support and likely be signed by the governor," Brenton said. -- by Melanie Evans
Wis. hospitals to seek higher cap on damages after veto
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