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60-19a01. Personal injury action defined; limitation established; itemization of verdict; no jury instruction on limitation to be given; wrongful death limitation not affected; application limited. (a) As used in this section, "personal injury action" means any action for damages for personal injury or death, except for medical malpractice liability actions.

(b) In any personal injury action, the total amount recoverable by each party from all defendants for all claims for pain and suffering shall not exceed a sum total of $250,000.

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

(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 pain and suffering which exceeds the limit of this section, the court shall enter judgment for $250,000 for all the party's claims for pain and suffering. 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, 1987, and before July 1, 1988.

History: L. 1987, ch. 217, § 1; L. 1988, ch. 216, § 2; July 1.

Law Review and Bar Journal References:

"A Practitioner's Guide to Tort Reform of the 80's: What Happened and What's Left After Judicial Scrutiny," Jerry R. Palmer and Martha M. Snyder, 57 J.K.B.A. No. 9, 21, 27 (1988).

"From the Capitol," Dennis Clyde, 12 J.K.T.L.A. No. 5, p. 4 (1989).

"More Goo For Our Tort Stew: Implementing the Kansas Collateral Source Rule," James Concannon and Ron Smith, 58 J.K.B.A. No. 2, 19, 23, 28 (1989).

"Are There Holes in Our Cap?" Steven M. Dickson, XIV J.K.T.L.A. No. 3, 27 (1991).

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

"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, 20 (1994).

"A Discrete and Insular Minority: Behind the Headlines of Murphy v. United Parcel Services, Inc.," Kirk W. Lowry, 39 W.L.J. 196 (2000).

"Survey of Kansas Tort Law: Part I," William E. Westerbeke and Stephen R. McAllister, 49 K.L.R. 1037 (2001).

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

"The Immunity Provisions in the Kansas Tort Claims Act: The First Twenty-Five Years," William E. Westerbeke, 52 K.L.R. 939 (2004).

"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).

CASE ANNOTATIONS

1. Statute does not violate Kansas Constitution. (Formal opinion to be filed when prepared.) Samsel v. Wheeler Transport Services, Inc., 244 K. 726, 771 P.2d 71 (1989).

2. 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).

3. Limitation on damages for pain and suffering held inapplicable to victims of intentional torts, malicious prosecution or outrage or emotional distress resulting from malicious prosecution. Weathers v. American Family Mut. Ins. Co., 777 F.Supp. 879 (1991).

4. While reference to statute improper, plaintiff's attorney may tell jury plaintiff only asking for $250,000 or plaintiff's claim limited to $250,000. Tamplin v. Star Lumber & Supply Co., 251 K. 300, 311, 836 P.2d 1102 (1992).

5. Application of comparative fault principles in workers compensation/personal injury action examined. Bright v. Cargill, Inc., 251 K. 387, 417, 837 P.2d 348 (1992).

6. Court under no obligation to itemize outrage verdict when filed before effective date of requirement. Weathers v. American Family Mut. Ins. Co., 793 F.Supp. 1002, 1005, 1024, 1025 (1992).

7. 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, 492, 856 P.2d 906 (1993).

8. Whether comparative fault percentages are determined first and deducted from total damages prior to applying nonpecuniary damage cap in negligence cases examined. Gann v. Joeckel, 20 K.A.2d 136, 140, 884 P.2d 451 (1994).

9. Cited; in wrongful death action trial court shall apply percent of lost chance to damage award before applying statutory cap. Dickey v. Daughety, 21 K.A.2d 655, 660, 905 P.2d 697 (1995).


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