Press Release

Trucking Industry Blasts Gov. Evers’ Veto of Commonsense Lawsuit Abuse Reform

Apr 08, 2024

Washington — The trucking industry criticized Governor Tony Evers’ rejection of a commonsense reform to the state’s civil litigation system, which would have capped non-economic damage awards at $1 million.
SB 613 passed the State Assembly by voice vote and the State Senate 21-11, but it was vetoed by Governor Evers.  Capping these subjective, nonmonetary losses is critical to ensuring fairness and balance in civil litigation and would deter abusive and frivolous lawsuits that have hijacked the system into a profit center for the plaintiffs’ bar.  
“Governor Evers’ veto of this commonsense reform was a missed opportunity to ensure that justice and fairness determine accident litigation outcomes in Wisconsin, not profits,” said ATA Chief Advocacy and Public Affairs Officer Ed Gilroy.  “The trucking industry is the lynchpin of our supply chain and economy that provides over 180,000 Wisconsin jobs.  When the plaintiffs’ bar perverts civil litigation, the costs are borne by everyone—not just trucking companies, but consumers too in the form of higher insurance rates and higher prices for everyday goods.  By allowing rampant lawsuit abuse to continue, Governor Evers is impeding the trucking industry’s ability to operate safely and efficiently.”
Due to trial lawyers exploiting the legal system, lawsuits targeting trucking have increased at an exponential pace in both the volume of cases and the size of verdict awards.  Between 2010 and 2018, the average size of large verdicts increased by nearly 1,000%, from $2.3 million to $22.3 million.  
The trucking industry is a key provider of middle-class jobs in Wisconsin, employing approximately 183,780 people throughout the state. More than 77 percent of Wisconsin communities rely exclusively on trucks to receive their goods.