Wisconsin Statutes Miscellaneous Actions, Proceedings and Procedure (Ch. 895 to 900) § 895.045. Contributory negligence




(1) Comparative negligence.  Contributory negligence does not bar recovery in an action by any person or the person's legal representative to recover damages for negligence resulting in death or in injury to person or property, if that negligence was not greater than the negligence of the person against whom recovery is sought, but any damages allowed shall be diminished in the proportion to the amount of negligence attributed to the person recovering.  The negligence of the plaintiff shall be measured separately against the negligence of each person found to be causally negligent.  The liability of each person found to be causally negligent whose percentage of causal negligence is less than 51% is limited to the percentage of the total causal negligence attributed to that person.  A person found to be causally negligent whose percentage of causal negligence is 51% or more shall be jointly and severally liable for the damages allowed.

(2) Concerted action.  Notwithstanding sub. (1), if 2 or more parties act in accordance with a common scheme or plan, those parties are jointly and severally liable for all damages resulting from that action, except as provided in s. 895.043(5) .

(3) Product liability.  (a) In an action by any person to recover damages for injuries caused by a defective product based on a claim of strict liability, the fact finder shall first determine if the injured party has the right to recover damages.  To do so, the fact finder shall determine what percentage of the total causal responsibility for the injury resulted from the contributory negligence of the injured person, what percentage resulted from the defective condition of the product, and what percentage resulted from the contributory negligence of any other person.

(b) If the injured party's percentage of total causal responsibility for the injury is greater than the percentage resulting from the defective condition of the product, the injured party may not, based on the defect in the product, recover damages from the manufacturer, distributor, seller, or any other person responsible for placing the product in the stream of commerce.

(c) If the injured party's percentage of total causal responsibility for the injury is equal to or less than the percentage resulting from the defective condition of the product, the injured party may recover but the damages recovered by the injured party shall be diminished by the percentage attributed to that injured party.

(d) If multiple defendants are alleged to be responsible for the defective condition of the product, and the injured party is not barred from recovery under par. (b), the fact finder shall determine the percentage of causal responsibility of each product defendant for the defective condition of the product.  The judge shall then multiply that percentage of causal responsibility of each product defendant for the defective condition of the product by the percentage of causal responsibility for the injury to the person attributed to the defective product.  The result of that multiplication is the individual product defendant's percentage of responsibility for the damages to the injured party.  A product defendant whose responsibility for the damages to the injured party is 51 percent or more of the total responsibility for the damages to the injured party is jointly and severally liable for all of the damages to the injured party.  The responsibility of a product defendant whose responsibility for the damages to the injured party is less than 51 percent of the total responsibility for the damages to the injured party is limited to that product defendant's percentage of responsibility for the damages to the injured party.

(e) If the injured party is not barred from recovery under par. (b), the fact that the injured party's causal responsibility for the injury is greater than an individual product defendant's responsibility for the damages to the injured party does not bar the injured party from recovering from that individual product defendant.

(f) This subsection does not apply to actions based on negligence or a breach of warranty.





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