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Judge won't strike down malpractice cap for UW-Madison doctors

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - A judge says he cannot strike down a quarter-million dollar limit on malpractice payments by UW-Madison doctors. 

However, Dane County Circuit Judge John Markson has urged the State Supreme Court to review the cap that was approved by the Legislature in 1979. 

Terri Fiez of Verona was the first to challenge the special malpractice limit for tax-funded doctors. A jury awarded her $1.8 million, after finding that a UW doctor was negligent in treating Fiez' husband Robert. He died three years ago from blood clots in his lungs. 

Judge Markson said he could not change the UW's quarter-million dollar malpractice limit, because Fiez did not show that it was unconstitutional. However, he does not make sense to limit her damages to just 14 percent of what a jury thought was fair. 

Fiez's lawyer says he'll appeal. 

And in the meantime, the judge asks to Supreme Court to examine the 34-year-old cap -- saying it would be around $800,000 of today's dollars. That's slightly higher than the state's malpractice limit on non-economic damages against private doctors. That cap is $750,000.