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Jan
2011
14

Scott Walker (Governor of Wisconsin) Preventing Punitive Damages to Victims of Workplace Injury

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The Wisconsin AFL-CIO is urging constituents to contact their legislators in opposition of new Governor Scott Walkers Senate Bill 1 and Assembly Bill1. These legislations put profits before people, protecting criminal corporate activity without meaningful job creation.

Worker safety and the awarding of damages for injured workers are threatened by the bill.

Victims of at work accidents will now have the burden of proving that the injury was “intended” by the employer in order to be awarded punitive damages. This new heightened standard effectively closes the courthouse door to most victims of egregious conduct resulting in serious injury or death. Had this proposed new standard been in place at the time that three ironworkers; Jeffrey Wischer, William DeGrave and Jerome Starr; fell to their deaths from a crane basket during the construction of Miller Park stadium in Milwaukee, their families would have been denied a punitive damage award.

Folks gathered this week at the Wisconsin State Capitol to oppose the measure. Local Fox News covered the story, which includes heart-wrenching testimony (below) from a woman whose son was crushed by falling cement resulting from negligent, non-union contractor work.

“Under the proposed law,” Wiconsin AFL-CIO states, “it will be almost impossible for Kellner to hold negligent contractors responsible for her son’s death.”

 

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