• WisBusiness

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Lawsuit reforms help Wisconsin's business climate

By Bill G. Smith

By James A. Buchen
Gov. Scott Walker has followed through with his promise to enhance Wisconsin's business climate through the adoption of common sense lawsuit reforms. Early in his tenure, Governor Walker signed comprehensive lawsuit reforms and most recently he signed three more needed legal reforms.

Coupled with tax relief, and regulatory reforms passed by the Legislature and signed into law, Governor Walker is ensuring that Wisconsin is open for business.

Lawsuit reforms protect small, medium, and large businesses from meritless lawsuits and ultimately reduce costs. For both employers and employees, this is welcomed news.

That is because our current tort system is too expensive. According to the actuarial firm Towers Watson, the cost of the U.S. lawsuit system in 2009 was $248.1 billion, which is 1.74% of the U.S. gross national product, or $808 per person.

Our state's small businesses, the backbone of our economy, are often disproportionately affected by excessive lawsuits.

One can argue that regulations, taxes, and insurance are the price of owning and operating a business, yet just one baseless lawsuit – or even the threat of a lawsuit – can be the unforeseen event that bankrupts a small business, putting people out of work, and personal assets in jeopardy.

Excessive, unpredictable lawsuits, whether decided in the courtroom or outside the courtroom regardless of guilt or responsibility, almost certainly means the loss of jobs, the loss of innovation, and the stifling of economic growth.

According to an Institute for Legal Reform study titled, Tort Liability Costs for Small Business, 62% of business owners and managers polled said they make decisions to avoid lawsuits. Sixty-one percent said these decisions make their products and services more expensive. More than a third surveyed had been sued, and 73% of those sued said that their business suffered due to the time-consuming nature of litigation.

Personal injury lawyers say lawsuit reforms are anti-consumer. That's not true. Rather, the recently enacted reforms place Wisconsin back into the mainstream compared to other states.

The comprehensive lawsuit reforms signed early this year addressed two 2005 Wisconsin Supreme Court decisions that harmed Wisconsin's business climate. One decision established a "guilty-until-proven-innocent" standard for businesses in certain cases, while the other made it easier for plaintiffs and their attorneys to win jackpots by lowering the standard for punitive damages. The new law overturned these poorly decided opinions.

Another reform put an end to unreliable expert testimony and evidence by requiring Wisconsin courts to adopt standards requiring testimony and evidence be based on sufficient facts and data. Known as the Daubert standards – named after the U.S. Supreme Court decision creating the protections – Wisconsin joined over 30 states plus the federal court system in adopting these new evidence requirements. The reform gets junk science out of Wisconsin court rooms.

In the most recent special session, Gov. Walker signed a bill into law which protects landowners – businesses, homeowners, renters, and non-profit organizations – from expanded liability for injuries to trespassers.

Another new law brings Wisconsin in line with other states relating to the interest rate charged against defendants for judgments paid to plaintiffs. Prior to the new law, defendants were forced to pay a plaintiff an exorbitant 12 percent interest from the time the case was filed to the time the final judgment was paid. The new law makes it a variable rate, which is based on the existing federal prime rate, plus one percent

In addition, Gov. Walker signed into law a number of criteria courts must consider when determining attorney fees awarded in certain types of cases. Prior to the new law, these "fee-shifting" cases – where a plaintiff attorney can obtain court mandated attorney fees from the defendant – resulted in a cottage industry for some plaintiff attorneys who have walked away with hundreds of thousands of dollars in attorney fees for relatively small claims.

Wisconsin's newly enacted legal reforms will go a long way in protecting employers for unjustified legal costs. This in turn allows employers to invest in their business, boost current employee benefits, and expand their businesses, and most importantly, hire new employees.

In the end, it's about jobs. And the new legal reforms are helping to pave the way to a better business climate in our state.

-- Smith is Wisconsin director of the National Federation of Independent Business and Buchen is senior vice president -- government relations for Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce. Both are executive officers of the Wisconsin Civil Justice Council.

Labels: ,

Comments: 11

At February 12, 2013 at 2:00 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

I have a dissertation writing to do right now and luckily, I found this blog that I can use as my resources.

At April 11, 2016 at 10:55 PM, Blogger Fikri Ferdiansyah said...

Hello there! This is my first comment here I truly enjoy reading through your posts. Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums that deal with the same subjects?

Obat Herbal untuk Menyembuhkan Hematuria
Cara Terbaik Mengobati Kista Payudara Yang Aman
Pengobatan Herbal untuk Menyembuhkan Kardiomiopati
Banyaknya Manfaat Keju untuk Kesehatan
Obat Laringitis atau Radang Pita Suara Herbal

At July 30, 2016 at 7:39 AM, Blogger Betty Stevens said...

Excellent article! I enjoyed reading it, you've done a great job! Right now even economy articles trying to escape real numbers, therefore, I appreciate this website even more.

At August 9, 2016 at 2:37 AM, Blogger Kristofer Kihn said...

Another incredible post, I value all the work you put into this site, assisting others with your fun and inventive works.
C# Assignment Help

At November 4, 2016 at 10:19 AM, Blogger xumeiqing said...

burberry outlet
louis vuitton outlet
polo ralph lauren
true religion outlet
cheap uggs
canada goose outlet
oakley sunglasses
ugg australia
air jordan retro
jordan shoes
ray ban sunglasses
christian louboutin outlet
canada goose
ugg boots
ugg outlet
cheap oakley sunglasses
adidas nmd
nike air max
ugg boots
canada goose uk
cheap ugg boots
michael kors handbags
cheap jordans
true religion outlet
birkenstock sandals
pandora uk
pandora jewelry
louis vuitton outlet
michael kors outlet
rolex daytona
cheap jordans
borse gucci
gucci outlet
true religion jeans
true religion jeans
celine outlet store
longchamp handbags

At March 25, 2017 at 2:51 AM, Blogger Infokesehatanid said...

Merupakan benjolan berisi cairan yang biasanya terbentuk pada satu atau kedua payudara dengan jumlah dan ukuran yang berbeda. Ukuran dan lunak atau kerasnya berubah sesuai siklus menstruasi. Kondisi ini tidak memerlukan operasi dan dapat ditangani dengan prosedur jarum aspirasi halus atau dengan konsumsi obat kista payudara tertentu. Jarum digunakan untuk menyerap beberapa sel keluar dari benjolan payudara. Jika benjolan ini adalah kista, maka akan mengempis setelah cairan dikeluarkan. Kondisi yang paling sering dialami wanita 30-60 tahun ini umumnya tidak mendatangkan gejala lain. Hormon diduga menjadi penyebab timbulnya kista payudara ini.

At August 1, 2017 at 4:48 AM, Blogger Ricky Rose said...

Economics Homework Help My friend recommended this blog and he was totally right keep up the good work

At August 1, 2017 at 5:30 AM, Blogger Ricky Rose said...

Those who come to read your article will find lots of helpful and informative tips Electrical Engineering Project Help

At July 19, 2018 at 3:43 AM, Blogger linlin huang said...

It is a time consuming process to locate a legitimate, high-quality designer Michael Kors Handbags On Sale at a decent price. One brand name that is sought after is the Michael Kors Bags On Sale. Anywhere you see high demand you will find people out to make a quick buck.

At July 26, 2018 at 4:23 AM, Blogger pooja verma said...

Aadhar Card Download by Name and Date of Birth
Aadhar Card Download by Name and Date of Birth
Aadhar Card Download by Name and Date of Birth
Aadhar Card Download by Name and Date of Birth
Aadhar Card Download by Name and DOB

At October 9, 2018 at 12:06 AM, Blogger Sophie Grace said...

Great Information,it has lot for stuff which is informative.I will share the post with my friends. pikdo


Post a Comment

Back to BizOpinion main page

: See newer blog items : : See older blog items :

BizOpinion site feed

wisbusiness.com Social News

Follow Us

Site Sponsors


· January 2009
· February 2009
· March 2009
· April 2009
· May 2009
· June 2009
· July 2009
· August 2009
· September 2009
· October 2009
· November 2009
· December 2009
· January 2010
· February 2010
· March 2010
· April 2010
· May 2010
· June 2010
· July 2010
· August 2010
· September 2010
· October 2010
· November 2010
· December 2010
· January 2011
· February 2011
· March 2011
· April 2011
· May 2011
· June 2011
· July 2011
· August 2011
· September 2011
· October 2011
· November 2011
· December 2011
· January 2012
· February 2012
· March 2012
· April 2012
· May 2012
· June 2012
· July 2012
· August 2012
· September 2012
· October 2012
· November 2012
· December 2012
· January 2013
· February 2013
· March 2013
· April 2013
· May 2013
· June 2013
· July 2013
· August 2013
· September 2013
· October 2013
· November 2013
· December 2013
· January 2014
· February 2014
· March 2014
· April 2014
· May 2014
· June 2014
· July 2014
· August 2014
· September 2014
· October 2014
· November 2014
· December 2014
· January 2015
· February 2015
· March 2015
· April 2015
· May 2015
· June 2015
· July 2015
· August 2015
· September 2015
· October 2015
· November 2015
· December 2015
· January 2016
· February 2016
· March 2016
· April 2016
· May 2016
· July 2016
· August 2016
· October 2016
· December 2016
Copyright ©2013 WisBusiness.com All rights reserved. | WisOpinion.com | WisPolitics.com  |  Website development by wisnet.com LLC  | Website design by Makin’ Hey Communications