The Wisconsin Supreme Court recently accepted several new cases, including Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty’s challenge to the governor’s partial veto power on appropriations bills.
Correa v. Woodman’s Food Market – Personal Injury
This case will address the standards of proof for establishing constructive notice of a hazard and the determinations a jury may make from video surveillance in premises liability cases. The court of appeals found that plaintiff Correa could not prove the spill by which he was injured existed for a long enough time period to establish the store was negligent. Video footage before the accident did not show a spill happening and could not identify any substance on the floor of the store. Because Correa lacked sufficient evidence, the appeals court ruled in favor of the store. Read more about the case.
Bartlett v. Evers – Governor’s Veto
This case filed by Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty will review the constitutionality of Gov. Tony Evers’s partial vetoes in the 2019-21 Wisconsin state budget. The court will review whether the governor can strike “essential, integral, and interdependent parts” of a state budget passed by the Legislature.
The vetoes challenged in the lawsuit:
- Removed the use of Volkswagen settlement funds for a $3 million school bus replacement grant program. As a result of this partial veto, Gov. Evers directed the Department of Administration to allocate up to $10 million of the settlement funds to a grant program for electric vehicle charging stations.
- Gave the Department of Transportation $75 million in flexible funding for local transportation projects.
- Deleted provisions setting light-truck registration fees for all trucks under 10,000 lbs at $100 and instead re-instated a scale of fees based on weight.
- Changed the definition of “vapor product” for the purpose of the new excise tax on vapor fluids. The veto message stated this would clarify to what products the new tax applies.
Town of Delafield v. Central Transport Kriewaldt – Federal Preemption of Weight Limits
This case will review whether federal transportation law preempts a town’s seasonal weight restriction on certain roads.
Delafield posted signs identifying a seasonal weight restriction prohibiting vehicles over six tons from driving on designated town roads. A Central Transport delivery truck over six tons was subsequently issued a citation for driving on one of the designated roads while making a delivery to a Delafield resident.
Federal law (U.S. Code Title 49 s. 31114(a) and Title 23 s. 658.19) requires towns provide “reasonable access” between the interstate and terminals. Central Transport argued that the federal transportation law preempts the town’s weight limit because it did not allow Central Transport reasonable access between the interstate and the place of delivery in the town. Read more about the case.