Wisconsin Pain & Suffering Cap Ruled Unconstitutional

The state Supreme Court says Wisconsin's cap on medical malpractice awards for pain and suffering is unconstitutional.

The four-three court ruling says the Legislature's rationale for implementing the 350-thousand dollar cap on noneconomic damages is too broad and speculative.

The Supreme Court says the law violates the Wisconsin Constitution's equal protection guarantees.

The ruling applies only to noneconomic compensation -- including mental distress and loss of society and companionship.

The case comes from Brown County Circuit Court. Matthew Ferdon's right arm was left paralyzed and deformed when he was born after the delivery doctor pulled on his head causing an injury known as brachial plexus palsy.

His parents sued and Matthew was awarded 700-thousand dollars in noneconomic damages. The circuit court reduced Matthew's award for noneconomic damages to comply with the state-imposed limits