Automobile accident resulting in wrongful death verdict in Missouri reduced under Kansas law

Thumbnail image for car accident on interstate.jpgThe Missouri Court of Appeals has ruled that a wrongful death verdict entered in a Missouri court arising from an automobile accident occurring in Kansas should be reduced in accordance with Kansas law. The verdict, originally totaling $1,200,000, was entered in Jackson County, Missouri, in favor of the family of Ruth Baxter, who was killed in a car accident on Interstate 35 outside of Ottawa, Kansas. Under Missouri law, the entire verdict would stand, as Missouri law does not place a cap on non-economic damages in automobile accident cases. However, under Kansas law, which the Court held governed, non-economic damages are capped at $250,000 in such cases. Hence, because the verdict reflected non-economic damages in excess of $250,000, the verdict was reduced to $500,000.