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Wisconsin senator seeks to expand state medical malpractice laws

Most people who lose a loved one due to another's negligence or recklessness have a desire for legal recourse, whether that comes in the form of a criminal conviction or civil litigation. Those who have lost a loved one as a result of medical malpractice in Wisconsin, however, may have few legal avenues open to them under certain circumstances. One state senator is seeking to change state laws in order to open the door to justice.

As the law currently stands, medical malpractice lawsuits are possible only under certain circumstances. For example, parents who have lost a minor child to a doctor's negligence are able to file a wrongful death case in a civil court. Additionally, spouses and minor children are also able to do so.

However, adult children cannot file a wrongful death case if they lose a parent due to a doctor's negligence, just as parents cannot file if they lose an adult child. One legislator is seeking to change that even though measures seeking to open the doors to who can file a medical malpractice suit have previously failed, Sen. Nikiya Harris Dodd feels that his scaled down version might have a better chance of passing. His proposal would allow parents who have lost an adult child to file a wrongful death claim. Proponents of the bill, who describe the proposed reforms as a step toward justice, point out that no other cases involving a death caused by another's negligence have similar restrictions -- that is, if a doctor negligently causes a fatal car accident, that doctor could face a wrongful death claim on behalf of that person's adult children. 

The loss of a loved one is never easy to understand. However, losing a family member as a result of medical malpractice can be particularly difficult issue with which to cope. Successfully navigated civil litigation in Wisconsin may allow a family to grieve without concerns regarding their financial future and also result in holding negligent medical care providers accountable for their actions.

Source: jsonline.com, "Lawmaker to try again to change state's medical malpractice law", Cary Spivak, Dec. 29, 2014

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