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60-19a02. Personal injury action defined; limitation established; itemization of verdict; no jury instruction on limitation to be given; wrongful death limitation not affected; limited to actions accruing on or after July 1, 1988. (a) As used in this section "personal injury action" means any action seeking damages for personal injury or death.

(b) In any personal injury action, the total amount recoverable by each party from all defendants for all claims for noneconomic loss shall not exceed a sum total of:

(1) $250,000 for causes of action accruing on or after July 1, 1988, and before July 1, 2014;

(2) $300,000 for causes of action accruing on or after July 1, 2014, and before July 1, 2018;

(3) $325,000 for causes of action accruing on or after July 1, 2018, and before July 1, 2022; or

(4) $350,000 for causes of action accruing on or after July 1, 2022.

(c) In every personal injury action, the verdict shall be itemized by the trier of fact to reflect the amount awarded for noneconomic loss.

(d) If a personal injury action is tried to a jury, the court shall not instruct the jury on the limitations of this section. If the verdict results in an award for noneconomic loss which exceeds the limit of this section, the court shall enter judgment for all the party's claims for noneconomic loss in the amount of:

(1) $250,000 for causes of action accruing on or after July 1, 1988, and before July 1, 2014;

(2) $300,000 for causes of action accruing on or after July 1, 2014, and before July 1, 2018;

(3) $325,000 for causes of action accruing on or after July 1, 2018, and before July 1, 2022; or

(4) $350,000 for causes of action accruing on or after July 1, 2022.

Such entry of judgment by the court shall occur after consideration of comparative negligence principles in K.S.A. 60-258a, and amendments thereto.

(e) The provisions of this section shall not be construed to repeal or modify the limitation provided by K.S.A. 60-1903, and amendments thereto, in wrongful death actions.

(f) The provisions of this section shall apply only to personal injury actions which are based on causes of action accruing on or after July 1, 1988.

History: L. 1988, ch. 216, § 3; L. 2014, ch. 84, § 1; July 1.

Law Review and Bar Journal References:

"Are There Holes in Our Cap?" Steven M. Dickson, XIV J.K.T.L.A. No. 3, 26 (1991).

"The Medical Malpractice Insurance 'Crisis': Did Kansas Tort Reform Really Work?" Bryan W. Smith, 31 W.L.J. 106, 116 (1991).

"Legislative Policing of Judicial Power," Ron Smith, 60 J.K.B.A. No. 10, 23, 25 (1991).

"Recent Decisions Affecting the Trial of Cases," Ruth M. Benien, J.K.T.L.A. Vol. XVI, No. 3, 18, 20 (1993).

"Consortium and the Cap—The Dual Nature of Loss of Consortium Damages," Michael L. Sexton, J.K.T.L.A. Vol. XVI, No. 6, 5, 7 (1993).

"Our Statutory System for Actual Damages in Tort: Kansas in Wonderland?" Bruce Keplinger and Scott M. Adam, 63 J.K.B.A. No. 1, 18, 19 (1994).

"Enabling ADA Protections For the Disabled: How the ADA Impacts K.S.A. Section 60-19a02," Anthony L. DeWitt, 5 Kan. J.L. & Pub. Pol'y, No. 1, 77 (1995).

"A Closer Look at Statutory Caps," Bradley Post and Robert E. Keeshan, J.K.T.L.A. Vol. XXVI, No. 5, 6 (2003).

"Workers Compensation Review," Joseph Seiwert, Editor, J.K.T.L.A. Vol. 29, No. 3, 23 (2006).

"Making the Most Out of the Cap: Maximizing Non-Economic Damages," Bradley J. Prochaska, J.K.T.L.A. Vol. 29, No. 6, 8 (2006).

"Economic Pain and Suffering Caused By Not Inflation-Adjusting the 1988 Cap: $250,000 Marked Down to $132,177 in 2008," Gary Baker and Gene Wunder, 32 J.K.A.J., No. 3, 6 (2009).

"The 'Soft Cap' Approach: An Alternative for Controlling Noneconomic Damages Awards," Jared R. Love, 52 W.L.J. 119 (2012).

"Non-Economic Damage Cap: An Analysis of Miller v. Johnson," David R. Morantz and James R. Howell, 36 J.K.A.J. No. 2, 5 (2012).

"Bypassing the Bill of Rights—The Kansas Supreme Court's Use of Quid Pro Quo to Analyze the Inviolate Right to Trial by Jury [Miller v. Johnson, 289 P.3d 1098 (Kan. 2012)]," Christopher R. Stanley, 53 W.L.J. 147 (2013).

"Kicking Em' While They're Down: The Alternative Case Against Caps on Non-Economic Damages in Kansas," Dylan P. Wheeler, 59 W.L.J. 557 (2020).

CASE ANNOTATIONS

1. Legislative limitation on recovery of noneconomic damages does not violate any constitutional rights. Samsel v. Wheeler Transport Services, Inc., 246 K. 336, 337, 363, 789 P.2d 541 (1990).

2. Referring to limitations in closing arguments examined. Tamplin v. Star Lumber and Supply Co., 16 K.A.2d 352, 359, 824 P.2d 219 (1992).

3. Reduction of damages examined in breach of warranty suit where plaintiffs served dishwashing liquid rather than similar-looking alcoholic beverage. Cott v. Peppermint Twist Mgt. Co., 253 K. 452, 491, 856 P.2d 906 (1993).

4. Loss of consortium damages were economic damages for statutory limit action on noneconomic damages purposes. Wolfgang v. Mid-American Motorsports, Inc., 914 F.Supp. 434, 438 (1996).

5. Cap on noneconomic damages rationally furthers state interests and did not violate equal protection clause. Patton v. TIC United Corp., 77 F.3d 1235, 1239, 1245 (1996).

6. Statutory cap required reduction of noneconomic damages even if plaintiff disabled under ADA (42 U.S.C.A. § 12101 et seq.). Wardrip v. Hart, 934 F.Supp. 1282, 1285 (1996).

7. Where separate causes of action are combined in one lawsuit, statutory cap of $250,000 for uneconomic damages are aggregated under one cap ($250,000). Hoover v. Innovative Health of Kansas, Inc., 26 K.A.2d 447, 453, 988 P.2d 287 (1999).

8. KTCA (75-6101 et seq.) damage cap did not apply to limit plaintiff's damages in 42 U.S.C.A. 1983 action. Beach v. City of Olathe, Kan., 185 F.Supp.2d 1229, 1241 (2002).

9. Kansas cap on noneconomic damages was not applicable in diversity personal injury action. Clayman v. Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, 343 F.Supp.2d 1037, 1046 (2004).

10. Cited in dissenting opinion; interlocutory appeal on other ground left constitutionality question regarding K.S.A. 60-19a02. Williams v. Lawton, 38 K.A.2d 565, 170 P.3d 414 (2007).

11. Jury's award for noneconomic loss reduced to $250,000. Wagner v. SFX Motor Sports, Inc., 522 F.Supp.2d 1330, 1345 (2007).

12. Interlocutory appeal unsuccessfully opposed on basis of constitutionality of caps on damages. Williams v. Lawton, 288 K. 768, 207 P.3d 1027 (2009).

13. Statutory caps on damages do not have to be pled or raised at pretrial conference. McGinnes v. Wesley Medical Center, 43 K.A.2d 227, 224 P.3d 581 (2010).

14. The statutory limit on noneconomic loss does not violate the constitutional rights to remedy, jury trial, due process or separation of powers. Miller v. Johnson, 295 K. 636, 289 P.3d 1098 (2012).

15. Noneconomic damages cap contained in statute does not violate section 5 of the bill of rights of the state of Kansas as applied to personal injuries resulting from motor carrier and motor vehicle collision. Hilburn v. Enerpipe, Ltd., 52 K.A.2d 546, 560, 370 P.3d 428 (2016).

16. Since defamation is not a personal injury action, the statutory cap for damages does not apply; alternatively, defendant waived right to apply the statute by not objecting to the jury's failure to itemize damages. Rockhill Pain Specialists v. Hancock, 55 K.A.2d 161, 193, 412 P.3d 1008 (2017).

17. The quid pro quo test is not appropriate to analyze the constitutionality of the noneconomic damages cap, and the cap is an unconstitutional violation of the right to trial by jury. Hilburn v. Enerpipe Ltd, 309 K. 1127, 1144, 1150, 442 P.3d 509 (2019).


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