2017 Wisconsin Statutes & Annotations
Chapter 949. Awards for the victims of crimes.
949.15 Department subrogation rights.

Universal Citation: WI Stat § 949.15 (2017)

949.15 Department subrogation rights.

(1) Whenever the department orders the payment of an award under this subchapter as a result of the occurrence of an event that creates a cause of action on the part of a claimant against any person, the department is subrogated to the rights of the claimant and may bring an action against the person for the amount of the damages sustained by the claimant. If an amount greater than that paid under the award order is recovered and collected in any such action, the department shall pay the balance to the claimant. If the person responsible for the injury or death has previously made restitution payments to the general fund under s. 973.20, any judgment obtained by the department under this section shall be reduced by the amount of the restitution payments to the general fund.

(2) In addition to the authority of the department to bring an action under sub. (1), the claimant may bring an action to recover damages. In any such action, the department has subrogation rights under sub. (1) and the claimant shall join the department as a party under s. 803.03 (2) (a). After joinder, the department has the options specified in s. 803.03 (2) (b).

(3) If a judgment or verdict in an action under sub. (1) or (2) indicates separately economic loss and noneconomic detriment, payments on the judgment shall be allocated between them in proportion to the amounts indicated. In such an action, the judge, on timely motion, shall direct the jury to return a special verdict, indicating separately the awards for noneconomic detriment, punitive damages and economic loss.

History: 1975 c. 344; 1979 c. 189; 1981 c. 20; 1985 a. 242; 1987 a. 398; 1993 a. 157; 2007 a. 20.

Election of remedies, retroactivity, joinder, statute of limitations, and subrogation are discussed. Bruner v. Kops, 105 Wis. 2d 614, 314 N.W.2d 892 (Ct. App. 1981).

Although a county was vicariously liable for damages due to injury, it was not a “person responsible for the injury." As such, no subrogation was required. Hamed v. Milwaukee County, 108 Wis. 2d 257, 321 N.W.2d 199 (1982).

The Department of Justice, Crime Victim Compensation Program is not an entity that is separate and distinct from the state. The program is an arm of the state and is considered stateless for diversity purposes under federal law. Bosse v. Pitts, 455 F. Supp. 868 (2006).

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