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Lawmakers propose changes to Wisconsin's "Lemon Law"


MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Two Republican legislators say Wisconsin’s “Lemon Law” has become a lemon itself, and it needs to be changed to give automakers a break.

Waukesha Representative Bill Kramer and Marathon Senator Jerry Petrowski are asking their colleagues to co-sign a bill to reduce the damages paid by the guilty parties.

It would eliminate mandatory double-damages for those who buy defective new cars.

Kramer and Petrowski say judges and juries should be the ones deciding the awards. They also want to reduce the time limit in which civil suits can be filed, and give auto-makers more time to give consumers refunds or comparable vehicles.

Kramer and Petrowski say lawyers for plaintiffs are winning unfair damage awards.

They mention the case of Milwaukee attorney Vince Megna, who calls himself the “Lemon Law King.” He won a $618,000 judgment last year against Mercedes-Benz in a long-running dispute.

This is the not the first time the government has tried to cut the Lemon Law down to size.

About a decade ago, a court ruled that consumers had to use legal language to make their cases – which meant they had to hire attorneys. Lawmakers disagreed, and they quickly moved to let people use plain English to file their own complaints.