The Kansas Supreme Court has held that the state’s law regarding caps on certain damages for injuries in personal injury lawsuits is unconstitutional. Specifically, the court determined that caps on noneconomic damages should be removed. A majority of the justices ruled that the limits set by the Kansas legislature on nonecominc damages violate the Kansas constitutional right to a jury trial.
Noneconomic damages are those a jury can award for pain, suffering, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life after an injury. However, prior to the Kansas Supreme Court’s ruling, injured individuals in Kansas were capped at the amount they could receive from a jury for such damages. The Kansas legislature initially imposed a noneconomic damage cap during the 1980s. The cap was recently raised to $325,000 from the previous amount of $250,000.
Those in favor of the noneconomic caps argue that the caps help control costs of insurance. They say the court’s ruling will cause insurance rates to increase and business will be forced to shut their doors. However, opponents argue that despite the caps being in place, insurance rates have continued to rise and will continue to rise. Some feel the insurance industry uses scare tactics to make the public believe insurance will be unaffordable without the caps, all while the insurance companies increase the cost of insurance.
If you or someone you know has been injured as the result of a negligence by another, contact an attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner by calling 713-231-9360 or toll free at 1‑800-594-4884.