The State of Kansas moved one step closer to increasing its cap on personal injury damages and wrongful death damages in personal injury lawsuits following a vote by a committee in its State House of Representatives.
On Tuesday, March 18, the vote by the Commerce, Labor and Economic Committee of the Kansas House of Representatives sent a bill to increase the monetary damages cap to the full House for debate. Kansas’s current cap on monetary damages for non-economic harm in personal injury cases, which includes damages for pain and suffering, is $250,000, regardless of the extent of the injury.
This cap came under scrutiny in 2012 when the Kansas Supreme Court upheld the cap, but expressed worry that the cap had not been adjusted for inflation since it was made law in 1988, a period of 24 years. Now, after two additional years, the bill passed by the House Committee aims to raise that cap to $300,000 in July 2014. The bill also includes language guaranteeing that the cap would increase to $350,000 by July 2022.
In addition to increasing the cap on damages in personal injury lawsuits, the legislation would also revise evidentiary rules in personal injury lawsuits, limiting expert testimony and allowing juries to be informed if a plaintiff has already received monetary compensation from an insurance company.
The Kansas State Senate has already passed the bill.
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