Justice Shirley Abrahamson was the top recipient of support from attorneys whose cases reached the Supreme Court, pulling in $188,650 over the past 11 years, a Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism analysis shows. Overall, justices tended to rule in favor of clients whose attorneys contributed to the justices’ election campaigns.
How the Center analyzed the relationship between campaign finance data and Wisconsin Supreme Court case outcomes, and a summary of the main findings showing that justices tended to favor their attorney donors.
Attorneys for families of residents say that facilities’ failure to report serious injuries or deaths related to abuse or neglect is not uncommon. Far more often, they say, the state health department only learns about a case of alleged neglect or abuse after a family member files a complaint. Advocates for health care providers stress that incidents of neglect and abuse are extremely rare, and can come to regulators’ attention in a variety of ways.
A new Wisconsin law, which went into effect in February 2011, bars families from using state health investigation records in state civil suits filed against long-term providers, including nursing homes and hospices. It also makes such records inadmissible in criminal cases against health care providers accused of neglecting or abusing patients.
On April 6, lawmakers repealed every aspect of 2009’s so-called “Truth in Auto” law except mandatory auto insurance. Insurance companies argued that the 2009 changes would lead to higher premiums and more people going without insurance. Trial lawyers invoked catastrophic situations in which the disputed auto policy provisions could make the difference in whether accident victims can pay their bills or go bankrupt. Both sides spent heavily to influence the Legislature. But the general public was largely silent.