Neumann, Walker call for tighter caps on health care lawsuits

    Wisconsin gubernatorial hopefuls Mark Neumann and Scott Walker want to lower the caps on noneconomic damages in malpractice cases as a way to hold down health care costs, but they’re not offering a specific number.
    Addressing the Wisconsin Hospital Association separately, both candidates backed a new cap on awards for things like emotional distress in their plans for cutting costs.
    Walker reminded the group he was one of the original authors of legislation to place a cap on such damages in malpractice cases. That legislation set the cap at $350,000 with adjustments for inflation. It had increased to about $450,000 in 2005, when the state Supreme Court struck down the limits. The Legislature later implemented a new cap of $750,000 after Gov. Jim Doyle vetoed a bifurcated cap of $550,000 for children and $450,000 for adults.
    Walker told reporters he "liked where we were at" with the old cap but didn’t single out a dollar figure for a new cap.
    Neumann said after his speech that he wanted a tighter cap for noneconomic damages in "unintentional" cases, but he also did not provide a specific number. Neumann said he has been listening to feedback from supporters on whether there should a new cap on noneconomic damages in "intentional" cases.

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