2005 - 2006 LEGISLATURE
November 23, 2005 - Introduced by Representatives Gundrum, Huebsch, Albers,
Nischke, Krawczyk, Musser, Hahn, Owens, F. Lasee, Nass, Vos, Bies and
Kestell, cosponsored by Senators Grothman, Schultz, Roessler and Lazich.
Referred to Committee on Judiciary.
1An Act to renumber and amend
895.85 (3); and to create
895.85 (3) (a) and 2
895.85 (3) (b) of the statutes; relating to: punitive damage awards.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
Under current law, a person injured by a negligent person can recover the
damages resulting from the injury, including economic damages, such as his or her
medical costs, and noneconomic damages, such as compensation for pain and
suffering. In addition, under current law, as interpreted by the Supreme Court, in
Wischer v. Mitsubishi, 2005 WI 26, 279 Wis. 2d 4 (2005), the plaintiff may recover
punitive damages if he or she can prove that the defendant acted maliciously toward
the plaintiff or in an intentional disregard of the rights of the plaintiff.
This bill changes the proof that the plaintiff must provide to recover punitive
damages. Under the bill, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant either acted
with the intent to cause injury to a particular person or persons or that the defendant
knew that the defendant's action was practically certain to result in injury to one or
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
AB843, s. 1
895.85 (3) of the statutes is renumbered 895.85 (3) (intro.) and 4
amended to read:
(intro.) The plaintiff may receive punitive damages if evidence is 2
submitted showing that the defendant acted maliciously toward the plaintiff or in an
3intentional disregard of the rights of the plaintiff. did any of the following:
AB843, s. 2
895.85 (3) (a) of the statutes is created to read:
(a) Acted with the intent to cause injury to a particular person or 6
AB843, s. 3
895.85 (3) (b) of the statutes is created to read:
(b) Knew that the defendant's action was practically certain to result 9
in injury to one or more persons.
(1) This act first applies to actions that occur on the effective date of this 12