Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Kansas Supreme Court Upholds Noneconomic Damage Cap in Tort Cases

In Miller v. Johnson (No. 99818), a case handed down just this past Friday, the Kansas Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Kansas Tort Claims Act.

The KTCA caps noneconomic damages in tort claims to $250,000. The trial jury returned a verdict $325,000 excess of this amount, but the trial court set it aside in favor of the statutory cap. The opinion is very lengthy and does not break down easily into component parts, but it appears that the KTCA is here to stay for good. Long story short, the Court said that the legislature's imposition of limits in awards does not violate the separation of powers, in that it does not invade the province of the jury. On the plus side, the Court did reinstate $100,000 for future medical expenses.

Aside from the noneconomic cap, the KTCA also imposes a punitive damages cap of $5,000,000 at best, depending on the circumstances.

For information on how this decision may affect you, please give us a call at the Paulus Law Firm.

Jordan Bergus
Paulus Law Firm

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