- June 18, 2019
The Kansas Supreme Court ruled on Friday, June 14th that it is unconstitutional to have a maximum limit on the amount of damages a jury can award in personal injury lawsuits.
The Supreme Court found that a cap on damages for pain and suffering was not in compliance with the Kansas State Constitution and returned the power to award these damages back to the jury. The Court held that prior legislative limitations on damages for pain and suffering violated the right to trial by jury as guaranteed by Section 5 of the Kansas Constitution Bill of Rights which declares, “The right to trial by jury shall be inviolate.”
Palmer Law Group attorney Meaghan Girard agrees that “It’s a fundamental principle in our State’s Constitution that every person has a right to a trial by jury. Each citizen is guaranteed to have a jury of their peers judge their case and if that jury sees fit to x number of dollars for pain and suffering, then there should be no cap.”
With distracted driving injuries on the rise, this decision could affect many more cases but its impact reaches far beyond just vehicle accident cases. Nursing home abuse, child abuse and medical malpractice victims can now be awarded damages by a jury of one’s peers as that jury sees fit for the pain and suffering they have endured.
“By returning these decisions to the people of Kansas, the Supreme Court is upholding a precious legal principle of the right to trial by a jury and returning trust to our citizens which is the way it should be. Juries have traditionally served as the conscious of the community and the Court’s decision allows their voice to be heard.” said attorney Dustin Van Dyk.