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Mayo v. Wisconsin Injured Patients and Families Compensation Fund – Rational Basis Substantive Due Process Challenge to Legislation

In this medical malpractice case, the Wisconsin Injured Patients and Families Compensation Fund challenges a Court of Appeals decision finding a $750,000 cap on noneconomic damages in medical malpractice actions, as stated in Wis. Stat. § 893.55 (2015-16) is unconstitutional on its face. The Fund also asks the Supreme Court to decide whether the cap is constitutional as applied here to the plaintiffs, Ascaris Mayo and Antonio Mayo. The Supreme Court reviews the following issues:

  • Can the plaintiffs prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the legislature lacked any conceivable rational basis for enacting the award cap on noneconomic damages (Wis. Stat. § 893.55)?
  • Does Ferdon v. Wisconsin Patients Compensation Fund, 2005 WI 125, 284 Wis. 2d 573, 701 N.W.2d 440 establish a heightened level of judicial review for medical malpractice legislation that mandates the conclusion that the cap is facially unconstitutional?
  • Does the cap violate constitutional equal protection as applied to the award without any evidence the plaintiffs have been treated differently than all other claimants with an award subject to the cap?
  • Does an as-applied equal protection constitutional challenge to the cap exist when the facts and circumstances giving rise to that challenge are not unique and result in no constitutional application of the cap in any circumstance?