Wisconsin Court Doubles Damages For 2003 Forest Fire

March 27, 2009

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has ordered those responsible for a 2003 forest fire in central Wisconsin to pay double damages to victims whose property was destroyed.

Among the many victims who will benefit from the ruling is former Justice Jon Wilcox, whose family farm in Wautoma was damaged in the fire. Wilcox retired from the court in 2007.

The 2003 fire started at the Lake of the Woods Campground and spread out of control, destroying 572 acres of land.

The property owners sued. A jury ruled the campground, its employees and their insurance companies should pay $568,000 to compensate for the losses.

Thursday’s 5-2 ruling by the Supreme Court says those damages should be doubled under state law.

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