2013 - 2014 LEGISLATURE
ASSEMBLY SUBSTITUTE AMENDMENT 1,
TO ASSEMBLY BILL 19
April 4, 2013 - Offered by Representative J. Ott.
1An Act to create
802.025 of the statutes; relating to: torts and personal injury
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
802.025 of the statutes is created to read:
4802.025 Pleading certain personal injury actions; stay of proceedings. 5(1) Definitions.
In this section: (a) "Personal injury claim" means any claim for 6
damages, loss, indemnification, contribution, restitution or other relief, including 7
punitive damages, that is related to bodily injury or another harm, including loss of 8
consortium, society, or companionship, loss of support, personal injury or death, 9
mental or emotional injury, risk or fear of disease or other injury, or costs of medical 10
monitoring or surveillance. "Personal injury claim" includes a claim made by or on 11
behalf of the person who claims the injury or harm or by or on behalf of the person's
representative, spouse, parent, minor child, or other relative. "Personal injury 2
claim" does not include a claim for compensatory benefits pursuant to worker's 3
compensation or veterans benefits.
(b) "Personal injury trust" means a trust, qualified settlement fund, 5
compensation fund or claims facility created as a result of an administrative or legal 6
action, bankruptcy, agreement, or other settlement or pursuant to 11 USC 524
(g) or 749 USC 40101
, that is intended to provide compensation to claimants alleging 8
personal injury claims as a result of harm, also potentially compensable in the 9
immediate action, for which the entity creating the trust, compensation fund, or 10
claims facility is alleged to be responsible.
(c) "Trust claims materials" means all documents and information relevant or 12
related to a pending or potential claim against a personal injury trust. "Trust claims 13
materials" include, without limitation, claims forms and supplementary materials, 14
proofs of claims, affidavits, depositions and trial testimony, work history, and 15
medical and health records.
(d) "Trust governance document" means any document that determines 17
eligibility and payment levels, including claims payment matrices, trust distribution 18
procedures, or plans for reorganization, for a personal injury trust.
19(2) Required disclosures by plaintiff.
(a) Within 30 days after the effective 20
date of this paragraph .... [LRB inserts date] or within 30 days after an action for a 21
personal injury or other tort is filed in circuit court, the plaintiff shall provide to the 22
court and to all parties a statement identifying all personal injury claims the plaintiff 23
has or anticipates filing against a personal injury trust, and for each claim, whether 24
there has been a request to defer, delay, suspend, or toll the claim against the 25
personal injury trust. The statement shall include an attestation that the plaintiff
swears or affirms, under penalties of perjury, that the statement is complete and is 2
based on the plaintiff's and plaintiff's counsel's good faith investigation of all 3
potential claims against personal injury trusts.
(b) The plaintiff shall produce to all parties, for each personal injury claim he 5
or she filed against a personal injury trust identified in par. (a), a final executed proof 6
of claim and all other trust claims materials relevant to each claim.
(c) The plaintiff shall produce to all parties, for each personal injury claim he 8
or she anticipates filing against a personal injury trust identified in par. (a), all trust 9
claims materials relevant to each claim. The plaintiff shall produce to all parties a 10
final executed proof of claim for each claim when the plaintiff files the claim.
(d) The plaintiff shall supplement the information and materials he or she 12
provided pursuant to par. (a), (b), or (c) within 30 days after the plaintiff files any 13
additional claim, supplements an existing claim, or produces or receives any 14
additional trust claim materials.
15(3) Discovery; use of materials.
(a) Trust claims materials and trust 16
governance documents are relevant and authentic and admissible in evidence to 17
prove, without limitation, alternative causation for a plaintiff's injuries or to allocate 18
liability for the plaintiff's injury. No claims of privilege apply to trust claims 19
materials or trust governance documents.
(b) A defendant in a personal injury claim may seek discovery against a 21
personal injury trust identified under sub. (2). The plaintiff may not claim privilege 22
or confidentiality to bar discovery of any information relevant to the plaintiff's 23
personal injury claim under the control of a personal injury trust and the plaintiff 24
shall provide consents or other expression of permission that may be required by the 25
personal injury trust to release information and materials sought by the defendant.
1(4) Scheduling trial; stay of action.
(a) The court may not commence the trial 2
of a personal injury action until at least 180 days after the plaintiff makes the 3
disclosures required under sub. (2). The court may, under exigent circumstances and 4
for good cause shown, shorten this period but under no circumstances may a trial be 5
commenced less than 60 days after the last of the required disclosures is made.
(b) If a plaintiff states under sub. (2) that he or she anticipates making one or 7
more claims against any personal injury trusts, then all proceedings in the action 8
shall be stayed until the plaintiff files all such claims and provides the parties with 9
the disclosures required by sub. (2) for all such claims. Nothing in this section shall 10
prohibit a court, under exigent circumstances and for good cause shown, to permit 11
any party at any time to take a deposition of a plaintiff or any other witness whose 12
health or other circumstances make it sufficiently likely that the person will be 13
unavailable or otherwise unable, or have reduced capacity, including due to declining 14
health or mental abilities, to give testimony when the stay is lifted. The court may 15
also require any party to provide such additional discovery in connection with any 16
such deposition as the court believes is appropriate in order that all parties may 17
fairly and fully prepare for and examine or cross-examine the witness at any such 18
19(5) Defendant's identification of additional or alternative personal injury
(a) Any party may move the court for an order requiring the plaintiff to file 21
a claim against one or more personal injury trusts from which that party in good faith 22
believes the plaintiff can recover. The party moving for such an order shall produce 23
or describe the evidence it believe is sufficient to meet the requirements of each such 24
personal injury trust for filing a valid claim.
(a) Any party may move the court for an order requiring the plaintiff to file a 2
claim against one or more personal injury trusts from which that party in good faith 3
believes the plaintiff can recover. The party moving for such an order shall produce 4
or describe the evidence it believes is sufficient to meet the requirements of each such 5
personal injury trust for filing a valid claim.
(b) Within 10 days, or such other time prescribed by the court, of receiving a 7
motion under par. (a), the plaintiff shall, for each personal injury trust identified by 8
the moving party, do one of the following:
1. File a claim with each personal injury trust identified.
2. File a written response with the court that sets forth reasons why there is 11
insufficient evidence to permit the plaintiff to file a claim in good faith under the 12
personal injury trust distribution procedure identified by the defendant.
(c) The court shall determine, for each personal injury trust identified under 14
par. (a), whether there is a good faith basis for the plaintiff to file a claim with the 15
personal injury trust. The plaintiff shall have the burden of proving that he or she 16
does not meet criteria set forth in the personal injury trust's trust governance 17
(d) If the court determines that there is a good faith basis for the plaintiff to file 19
a claim against a personal injury trust identified by any other party, the court shall 20
stay the action until the plaintiff swears or affirms that he or she has filed the claim 21
against the personal injury trust and the plaintiff provides to all parties a final 22
executed proof of claim and all other trust claims materials relevant to each such 23
claim. If a stay goes into effect under this subsection, the provisions of sub. (4) (b) 24
with respect to depositions apply during the stay.
(e) Trial of a plaintiff's action may not begin less than 60 days after the plaintiff 2
provides the documentation required under par. (d).
(f) Any party may, at any time before the close of evidence at trial, enter into 4
the record trust claims documents that identify each personal injury trust against 5
which the plaintiff has made a personal injury claim.
6(6) Use of trust claim materials at trial.
Trust claim materials that are 7
sufficient to entitle a claim to consideration for payment under the applicable trust 8
governance documents are sufficient, by themselves, to support a jury finding that 9
the plaintiff was exposed to products for which the trust was established to provide 10
compensation and that such exposure was a substantial factor in causing the 11
plaintiff's injury that is at issue in the action.
12(7) Damages; liability.
If any defendant is found to be 51 percent or more 13
causally negligent or any product defendant is found to be 51 percent or more 14
causally responsible for the plaintiff's injury such that the defendant or product 15
defendant would be jointly and severally liable for the plaintiff's entire damages 16
under s. 895.045 (1) or (3) (d), then notwithstanding those sections, the defendant or 17
product defendant is entitled to a credit against the amount of damages for which it 18
would otherwise be liable equal to the percentage of causal negligence or causal 19
responsibility that the fact finder attributes to any personal injury trust or to a 20
product for which a personal injury trust provides compensation.
21(8) Failure to provide information; sanctions.
A plaintiff who fails to timely 22
provide all of the information required under subs. (2), (4) (b), or (5) (d) is subject to 23
ss. 802.05, 804.12, 805.03, and 895.044.
(1) This act first applies to actions filed on the effective date of this subsection 2
and to actions pending on the effective date of this subsection if trial has not 3
commenced in the action.