Wisconsin Supreme Court
Civil Procedure — claim preclusion
Where a claim was raised, in substance, in a prior federal action and was decided, the claim is subject to claim preclusion.
“Here, the federal court in the prior action issued a judgment on the merits. While the phrase ‘on the merits’ is not enough for a judgment to be on the merits for purposes of claim preclusion, Semtek, 531 U.S. at 501-02; Hernke v. Coronet Ins. Co., 72 Wis. 2d 170, 177, 240 N.W.2d 382 (1976), the judgment in this case explicitly referred to the representations of counsel that all claims (except specific contribution and indemnification claims) were to be dismissed with prejudice. Thus, this judgment disposed of the action on the merits and has claim-preclusive effect. Because we determine that AEGIS did, in substance, raise the cross-claim, its claim has been adjudicated. The substance of this claim was raised and was decided as demonstrated by the court explicitly reserving other cross-claims that had been raised.”
Attorneys: For Appellant: Terwilliger, W. Thomas, Wausau; Westgate, Cassandra B., Wausa; For Respondent: Graupner, Charles P., Milwaukee; Priebus, Reince R., Milwaukee; Kastens, Aaron H., Milwaukee