January 18, 2011
Sen. Larson Votes ‘No’ on Bill That Makes it Nearly Impossible for Victims to Receive Justice in Court
GOP Places Corporate Profits Ahead of Victim’s Rights
Madison – Sen. Chris Larson (D- Milwaukee) voted against Special Session Senate Bill 1, which will prevent victims and their families from obtaining justice against negligent corporations and manufacturers.
Sen. Larson raised concerns over rushing Special Session Senate Bill 1 through and believes that Senate Republicans acted quickly in order to strengthen Gov. Walker’s anti-consumer agenda.
“Senate Republicans are acting as mere rubber stamps for the governor’s corporate agenda,” said Larson. “This was demonstrated by their complete disregard for concerns raised by fellow legislators and the overwhelming testimony of Wisconsin citizens at Friday’s public hearing.”
“The GOP’s plan to diminish victim’s rights will only ensure that large corporations operating in our state will not be held accountable for dangerous products or injuries and damage from services,” said Larson. “As a result, Wisconsin families will shoulder increased economic burdens, children and parents will face greater risk of injury, and employees will be less safe at work.”
According to Sen. Larson, the people of Wisconsin will not lose sight of the fact that the first bill introduced in the Special Session to create jobs does not create jobs in the state.
“Not one single job was created by passing this legislation,” said Larson. “Jobs were not the focus of this bill and it will be immensely difficult for majority legislators to prove otherwise.”
Special Session Senate Bill 1 passed the Senate today with a vote of 19-14, and is expected to be taken up by the Assembly for a vote on Thursday. If passed, the bill will limit the amount of punitive damages awarded to victims in cases against long-term care facilities, manufacturers, distributors, sellers and promoters of certain products, and charged drunk drivers. The bill also contains provisions to ensure reports indicating abuse and neglect at health care facilities can never be used in criminal investigations, and makes it difficult for victims to call expert witnesses to testify at trial.