Wisconsin’s statutory cap on noneconomic damages for medical malpractice cases has taken many twists and turns over the past 30 years. A recent state court of appeals decision in Mayo v. Wis. Injured Patients & Families Comp. Fund has added to this seemingly never-ending saga by striking down the legislatively enacted $750,000 cap on noneconomic damages. The Supreme Court of Wisconsin will likely have the final say.
A decade ago, the U.S. Supreme Court shocked the nation with its decision in Kelo v. New London by rubber-stamping a decision by state officials in Connecticut to seize private homes by eminent domain to make way for private redevelopment projects. Even more insidious, federal and state courts allow the government to regulate property owners so heavily as to effectively take away their rights – but without any "just compensation."
To remedy these judicial inconsistencies, a new study calls on lawmakers to adopt the Property Ownership Fairness Act, which requires state and local governments to pay owners when regulations reduce their property values without actually ensuring public health and safety. [Read More]
Writing for State Court Docket Watch, Chad Readler and Benjamin Flowers offered their perspective on a recent Ohio Supreme Court decision dealing with class action litigation:
When the Ohio Supreme Court interprets state class-action law, it often relies on decisions from the Supreme Court of the United States interpreting federal class-action law. But in Felix v. Ganley Chevrolet, Inc., the Ohio Supreme Court reached an issue the nation’s high court has yet to, but might soon, resolve: May courts certify classes that include members who have not “suffered [an] injury as a result of the conduct challenged in the suit?” Felix held they may not, at least not in cases alleging violations of the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act.
Former Kansas Attorney General Phillip Kline has sued members of the Kansas Supreme Court for selective application of state bar disciplinary guidelines in suspending his law license. He claims the justices were punishing his ideology, rather than his conduct, in suspending him for activities related to investigating abortion providers. Read more at NTV.
The Second Circuit Court of Appeals largely upheld New York and Connecticut's gun control laws passed in the wake of the Sandy Hook school shooting. Read more at ABC News.
Governor Jerry Brown of California signed into law the state's "New Motor Voter Act," which automatically registers to vote those who obtain state driver's licenses or identification cards. The law is the second of it's kind; the Oregon Legislature passed a similar law in March. Read more at NPR.
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach has announced plans to prosecute three voter fraud cases. These are the first cases Kobach has brought under new powers granted to him by the state legislature during the past session. Read more at the Wichita Eagle.
An appellate court in New Jersey has allowed a woman to continue her lawsuit against local police officers for injuries she sustained while in custody. The woman fractured her hip after falling out a chair multiple times while awaiting a breath test following a drunk driving arrest. A lower court had previously dismissed the case under the immunity provisions of the state's Tort Claims Act. Read more at USA Today.